March is one of the busiest months for gardening. Just in case you are not sure what needs tending to, here’s my to-do list:
If not finished yet, do it now:
• Mow down ratty-looking monkey grass.
• Clean beds of dead leaves and other dead plant materials and dispose of slugs and snails hiding in it.
• Add compost to beds and mulch.
• Clean out old mulch around rose bushes. Cut back, treat for disease and insects, fertilize and add fresh mulch.
• Plant more cool-season vegetables, such as lettuce and English peas.
• Treat lawn with pre-emergence herbicides but not post-emergence herbicides.
• Do not fertilize lawn until later in spring.
And add to that list:
• Prune overgrown shrubs (wait until after blooms finish on spring bloomers).
• Fertilize and mulch all plants.
• Add new plants.
• It is time to divide most perennials, to add plants to your own beds and share with friends.
• Cut back perennials before spring growth spurts.
• Treat for white flies now (and again in August) with a systemic pesticide or organic method such as a baking soda mixture; if you must use synthetic pesticide, do so late in the day after the bees retire.
• Remove faded blooms from bulbs but leave foliage to ripen.
• Prune back butterfly bushes to 1-2 feet high.
• Prune back beautyberry and blue spirea bushes to one-half desired summer height.
• Prune back clematis lightly if early bloomer or hard if summer bloomer, and prune other summer blooming vines.
Thanks to Sid Mullis’ Augusta Gardening Calendar, Walter Reeves and Erica Glasener’s Month-By-Month Gardening in Georgia, and Nancy J. Ondra’s The Perennial Care Manuel.