What to do in your garden in March

March has finally arrived and that can only mean Spring is right around the corner.  So far the weather has been cooperative, allowing me to get out into the garden and get some tidying up done.  Hopefully, the old folklore saying “When March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion” doesn’t hold true this year.

March is a temperamental month, with all kinds of weather swings.  If you are a veteran Colorado gardener you know this and will be prepared to deal with extreme weather one day and nice warm weather the next.  For you newcomers to Colorado gardening, find yourself a veteran Colorado gardener, some good books, and continue to read my blog and between us all we will get through each month.

  • If you soil can be worked, now is a good time to plant bare-rooted roses.  When you plant the roses ensure the roots are planted so that the graft or bud union is 2 inches below the ground level.
  • Asiatic hybrid lilies are a good selection for our cold-winter climate and more tolerant of our alkaline soil.  Plant them in loose soil generously amended with compost.
  • If you didn’t amend your garden soil in the fall, now is a good time to add compost and well aged manure if the soil in your garden is workable.
  • Your spring bulbs should start popping their little heads up out of the ground, so now is the good time to feed them with a well balanced fertilizer.  Remember to lightly till in the fertilizer, because phosphorus and potassium are not effective unless cultivated into the soil.
  • Now is an excellent time to start seeds indoors.  Make sure you read the instructions on the back of the seed packet and adjust for our last frost date which is around May 15th.
  • The temperatures are starting to rise, so on days when the soil and air temperatures are above 40 degrees F water those trees, lawns and perennials if we have not received any measurable moisture.
  • Prevent scale on lilacs, ash, dogwood and poplars by spraying your woody plants with horticultural oil before bud break.  Spraying before dormancy may kill most of the scale before eggs hatch.
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