MARCH 2004

Archive Contents

March lawn and garden maintenance checklist

The last freeze date in most of Alabama is usually March 15, so your gardening can really take off this month.


• Trees and shrub

• Tomato plants (not seeds as it is too late)

• Bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers, squash, English peas, asparagus

• Beets, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, endive, escarole lettuce, mustard, bunching onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, turnips

• Vegetable bedding plants and seeds

• Strawberries, blueberries, currants, loganberries, boysenberries, grapes, fruit trees

• Bedding plants for spring color such as Petunias, Dianthus, Begonias, Verbena, Lantanas, etc.

• Tender bulbs and tubers such as gladiola, lilies and dahlias. Continue planting additional bulbs every two weeks until mid June to insure continuous blooms

• Transplant pot-bound houseplants

• Good time to start hanging baskets of annuals

• Dig and divide summer and fall blooming perennials, fall asters, chrysanthemums, salvia, etc.

• Transplant shrubs and trees when soil becomes workable and before buds are swelled or broken open

• Bermuda, zoysia and centipede in South Alabama. Seed grass mixtures in North Alabama.

• Aquatics in nursery pots, laundry baskets, shallow pans and large tubs. Add 1” of pea or aquarium gravel on surface and thoroughly water before putting in pond

• (In warmer areas) Divide hardy water lilies every year or two, can start six weeks before the last expected freeze

Plant for Butterflies and Hummingbirds !!!


• If grass needs to be mowed, then it is ready to fertilize (thru April). Do that after about 2nd mowing.

• Wait until April to fertilize warm season lawn grasses and until May for Centipede

• Vegetables: a month after growth starts

• Fruit and pecan trees

• Houseplants with a diluted solution of soluble houseplant food after new growth appears

• Spring-flowering bulbs after leaves appear and before they bloom

• Use a slow-release fertilizer according to soil test on perennials

• Roses after pruning and before they leaf out

• All blooming ornamentals: forsythia, quince, spirea, climbing roses, camellias, azaleas, etc….
………… only after they bloom!!! ………


• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines only after they finish blooming !!! Azaleas, flowering quince, spirea, forsythia, weigela, camellias, Carolina jasmine, wisteria, Lady Banksia rose, etc.

• Fruit trees just before bud break

• To keep pines as a dense hedge, trim new growth or “candles,” trim when new needles are about half the length of the old needles 

• Give hibiscus a haircut, then feed with hibiscus food to encourage lush growth

• Gradually move potted hibiscus into more light

• Fig trees, Red Tip Photenias, or shape hibiscus

• Leggy perennials

• Ornamental grasses to new shoots

• DO NOT remove leaves from daffodils and jonquils until AFTER they yellow

• Remove all dead blooms from bulbs

• Pinch off tips of sweet pea seedlings and mums when they are 4” tall

• End of month pinch back growing tips of houseplants that have become rangy and to promote branching and fullness

• Cut branches from early spring flowering bushes for forcing

• Winterkilled leaves from plants around water gardens before and when new growth appears and compost trimmings


• Soak mail-order bare-root plants before planting

• Annuals and other dry soil areas as needed

• Keep newly planted perennials moist

• Newly planted roses often enough to keep roots moist during first few weeks. Gradually reduce the frequency but not the depth of watering.

• Newly planted shrubs every few weeks in dry weather

• Wildflower areas in dry months

• Water lawn well if you want it to spread faster to fill in dead areas

• Observe areas of poor drainage, fill in low spots or create a channel for drainage


• Fruit trees: Fruit tree spray, Captan

• Worms and caterpillars: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Dipel, Thuricide

• Pillbugs, snails, slugs: DE/garlic spray, beer traps, rotenone/pyrethrum spray

• Aphids: soap and water of garlic spray, release of ladybugs, insecticidal soap, Triple Action

• Flower thrips on bellfower, daylily and peony flowers, remove and discard infected flowers (do not put in compost pile!)

• Bagworms on evergreens, remove bags and discard

• Leaf-streak on daylilies, remove and discard infected leaves (do not put in compost pile!)

• Fungus: Black spot, powdery mildew, bacterial leaf spot: baking soda (1 ½ tablespoons and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil per gallon of water), 
Immunox Plus

• Gray mold on foliage of bulbs

• Weeds – Early March: pre-emergent herbicide, Balan, HY Crabgrass Control

• Handpull winter annuals such as henbit and common chickweed

• Weed your flowerbeds making sure not to pull any desirable plants

• Remove weeds before they have a chance to flower and go to seed


• Plan flowerbeds, gardens and herb gardens in your journal

• Note in your journal the placement of houseplants when they will go outside to determine where to plant your annuals, perennials and shrubs

• Soil test

• Repair damaged areas of the lawn (dethatch, rake or aerate) prior to fertilizing

• Turn the compost pile, add any coarse mulch removed from the garden

• Use completed compost for bed preparation-use partially completed compost as a top-dressing mulch or return to compost pile

• Mulch all bare soil

• Check mulch underneath shrubs, add more if needed

• Remove mulch gradually from flowerbeds. This will help acclimate the plants with the temperature changes and help with weed 

• Remove winter coverings from roses when forsythia is in full bloom (still watch weather for cool nights)

• Finish your winter cleanup, including floating debris from the surface of water gardens

• Repair any damaged fencing, arbors or trellis work

• Watch for freezing weather so you can use coverings to protect the plants

• Maintain your coldframe. Keep it open on warm, sunny days to prevent plants from overheating

• Check supports on newly planted trees

• Check your lawn mower, especially sharpening the blades, before starting to mow

• Check any overwintered bulbs and plants (including aquatics) to insure they are still healthy and haven’t dried out

• Photograph spring-flowering gardens for reference later in the year

• Clean out birdhouses

• Feed the birds!



Archive Contents

Date Last Updated January, 2006