March

Plant:

  • Cool season annual flowers and vegetables early in month in North Texas.
  • Warm season annual flowers and vegetables late in the month for North Central Texas.
  • Containers can be used for annual flowers and foliage, tropical plants, herbs and even vegetables. Choose large pots with drain holes, and use a quality highly organic potting mix.
  • Perennials from potted nursery plants or transplanted from established clumps dug and divided before they start their spring growth.
  • Nursery stock. Supplies will be plentiful through the spring. Unusual types can be special-ordered or ordered online.
  • Groundcovers this month to take advantage of their burst of spring growth.
  • St. Augustine, bermuda and zoysia can be sodded this month, beginning by late in month in North Texas.
  • Seedlings should be held until mid-to late April.
Prune:

  • New bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped shade and fruit trees by 30 to 50 % if they were not pruned at the time of planting. Without this pruning, transplant shock from root loss will do significant damage.
  • Spring-blooming shrubs and vines immediately after they finish flowering. There is a brief window in which to reshape them before their burst of new spring growth. Avoid formal shearing whenever possible.
  • Warm-season turf by scalping early in month. Drop mower by 1 or 2 notches to remove winter-killed stubble. This will remove many of the weeds, as well as let the grass green up a week or two earlier. Use clippings in compost or as mulch, not as landfill.
Fertilize:

  • New trees, shrubs with liquid root-stimulator. Repeat monthly for 1st year for balled-and-burlapped and bare-rooted plants.
  • Trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers will benefit from high-nitrogen, or all-nitrogen plant food, especially for spring-flowering types that will follow their blooms with strong vegetative regrowth.
  • Pecans with quality, all-nitrogen plant food once a month, March through May.
  • Containers. including pots and hanging baskets, with water soluble, complete-and-balanced plant food with each watering. Use encapsulated, timed-released plant food for sustained feeding.
Roses Lookout:

  • Black spot (dark brown blotches surrounded by yellowed tissue)
  • Thrips (whisker-sized insects that cause buds to brown and fail to open properly)
  • Use systemic fungicide and insecticides respectively for both.
Weeds:

  • Broadleafed weeds, including dandelions, clover, dichondra and dollarweed. Apply a 2,4-d product according to label directions.
  • Crabgrass and grassburs can be prevented before they germinate. Use labeled pre-emergent herbicide granules by mid-month. Repeat 90 days later.
Watch For:

  • Snails, slugs and pillbugs. These feed at night, stripping foliage and toppling transplants. Apply labeled dust or bait to control.
  • Cankerworms hanging by single threads from tree leaves, and cabbage loopers that are chewing though leaves of cabbage, broccoli and other cole crops.
  • Aphids massed on tender new growth. Look for small, pear-shaped bodies.
  • Peach and plum pests. Protect against plum curculio larvae with insecticide sprays. Include a labeled fungicide at the same time to control fruit disease problems. Timings of sprays: “pink bud” ( when the buds are fully swollen, but before they open); “petal fall” (when 3/4 of the petals are on the ground-this spray should be made in late evening to avoid harm to bees); then on 10-14 day intervals thereafter until harvest. For full discussion and a fruit/nut spray schedule, click here.
  Check:

  • Sprinkler heads for cleaning, realigning, repairs or replacement.
  Remember:

  • Texas spring weather is very unpredictable, so protect tender flowers and veggies from late cold with frost cloth.

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~Ruth Stout

Information collected from Neil Sperry

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