Extension @ Your Service: Gardening in March will soothe Spring Fever

The snow is finally melting, the slippery roads are a memory and we can abandon our heavy coats and gloves for another year! It is time to get out in the fresh air and take care of spring tasks in the garden.

Your landscape and yard may just look brown, but upon closer inspection, there are signs that spring is just around the corner. Daffodils and other bulbs are starting to flower, weeds are growing and leaf and flower buds are swelling in the trees and shrubs. This is a great time to get back into the practice of noticing the changes in your yard and doing some planting and maintenance.

Susan Kelly Extension @ Your Service

Susan Kelly
Extension @ Your Service

March is a good time to fertilize plants like shrubs and special trees as they begin their spring growth. Asparagus beds should be fertilized before the spears begin to grow. If your soil test recommended a fertilizer or lime application, this would be a good time to add and till in before planting your spring garden.This is also a good time to plant small fruit plants, grape vines, fruit trees and roses. The plants are still dormant or just beginning to grow and will be established in the ground before the surge of new growth begins.

Transplanting trees and shrubs should also take place this month before they start new growth.If you are installing plants that are not cold-hardy in the spring, you should be aware of the frost-free dates for our area. Each year we have an average risk of frost from Nov. 4 through April 1. There is still a good chance that parts of the county would receive frost through next week, but as we get closer to April, the probability of frost lessens.

Are you really ready for a workout? This would be a great time to incorporate compost into the vegetable garden, remove any debris left from the winter and remove those early spring weeds that are starting to grow. If you use raised beds for your garden, you will probably need to add soil to replace the soil that has settled or been removed with the crops.

Cool-season vegetables can be planted starting in mid-March, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, lettuce, turnips, kale and potatoes. Warm-season vegetables can be started indoors from seed, including peppers and tomatoes.

A Richmond County Extension photo Fred Nantz checks in on his plot at the Hitchcock Creek Community Garden in Rockingham in Summer 2014.

A Richmond County Extension photo
Fred Nantz checks in on his plot at the Hitchcock Creek Community Garden in Rockingham in Summer 2014.

March is a good time to prune roses, fruit trees, overgrown shrubs and spring flowering plants after the flowers fade. Perennials such as day lily, Shasta daisy, gaillardia and coreopsis can be divided for transplanting now as well.

Take the time to observe everything that is happening in the outdoors, because spring is a most beautiful time in our area of the state.

The Richmond County Cooperative Extension Office is the place to go with your gardening questions for spring. We can also send your soil samples to NCDA and help you understand the results of the testing.

Horticulture agent Paige Burns is currently teaching a Gardening 101 class on Monday evenings and reservations for this free class can be made by visiting http://richmondces.eventbrite.com or calling 910-997-8255. Don’t forget to visit our website at http://richmond.ces.ncsu.edu for gardening information, classes and more.

Susan Kelly is extension director for the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Richmond County Center. Write her at .

Filed in: Farm & Ag, Latest Headlines, Opinion, Outdoors

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
© 2018 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.