Maintenance Calendar – March

Maintenance Calendar

Compiled by Linda Lee,
WSU Master Gardener


January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


~ March ~

  • Mow and till in your winter cover crop on the vegetable garden. You can also spray the cover crop with a topical spray containing glyphosate. Till the dead growth into the garden. Wait at least seven days before planting. Read the label; it is your responsibility to follow instructions on chemical sprays to the letter. Federal law requires this information to be available crocosmiato the public.
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs like gladiolas, crocosmia, and ranunculus.
  • Prune roses. Early March is the best time to remove injured or dead canes. Cut the remaining ones back to six to eight inches long, then prune plants so they can form a vase shape. Each cut should have one strong outward facing bud. Use your best judgment as to how short to cut your Hybrid Tea Roses. Many experts suggest cutting them back to a foot above the soil.
  • Continue the war on slugs. The tiny baby slugs that live along the edge of the lawn and in the groundcovers are the most voracious. Pine straw around hosta and other delicious plants is a great deterrent to the slimy little creatures
  • Throughout the Northwest, now is the ideal time to start a new lawn. First, spade and rake the top sodsix to twelve inches of soil to a fine consistency and amend it with organic matter. Next, lay sod or rake in a seed mix of perennial rye mixed for our area.
  • Sow cool season crops such as beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, peas, radishes, and spinach and most members of the cabbage family.
  • Start warm season crops. Start seeds for tomatoes, peppers and other heat loving crops indoors on windowsills or in green houses. When the weather warms, transplant seedlings outdoors.
  • Clean beds and follow up on your fall cleanup efforts by going over the beds again this month. Rake up and dispose of wind downed debris. Cut back perennials you may have left for winter interest or food for the birds. Pull weeds that have sprouted. Give beds a top dressing of fresh compost or soil. Clean slime or moss off paved areas with a 30% mixture of bleach and water using a brush, then using pressure washer or the hose on a strong setting.
  • Dig and divide summer and fall blooming perennials early this month. Divide spring blooming plants in the fall or you may miss a season of bloom.
  • Feed the lawn using a mix of 20 – 0 – 0 or a mix with a ratio of 3 – 1 – 2 of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. This gives the lawn a heavy shot of nitrogen, which will assist in the hiding of Red Thread etc. Water it in thoroughly.
  • clematisCut back summer flowering clematis now. After pruning, scatter a handful of fertilizer at the base of the plant. 10 – 10 – 10 is a good choice. Prune back spring flowering plants in the fall or as soon as they finish blooming. This is a choice you have to make because you may want the vine to continue in the garden until fall. Some of the best clematis for the perennial garden are those that bloom either all season or twice during the season. They should be pruned sparingly in the spring or if need be they can be cut clear back in the fall. This will delay the bloom of some but will not hurt the plant.
  • Don’t forget those pesky slugs!