March Gardening & Planting Tips

Our Garden Editor's advice for a healthy and thriving yard.

Grow Now: Petunias and More 
A bright day and a warm breeze are all it takes to make you want to get outside and plant something in your garden. The first day of spring arrives on March 20, and though it means the season has officially changed, it does not mean cold weather is over. It also may not coincide with the last frost date in your area. So what can you plant? Petunias, snapdragons, marigolds, nasturtiums, and dianthus can handle the cool days. Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuces, kale, spinach, potatoes, and onions will do fine as well. Just wait a little longer for warm days for favorites such as caladiums, impatiens, basil, and tomatoes.

Divide Now 
Perennials such as daylilies, hostas, Shasta daisies, and cannas can be divided now. Set separated plants back into the soil at the original growing depth, water well, and mulch.

Herbs
Plant pots of thyme, rose- mary, and oregano now. Wait until the danger of frost has passed before planting dill and basil.

Flowering Vines
Vines offer great solutions for color, fragrance, and shade in tight spots in the garden. They also soften fences and arbors. Try favorites such as ‘Tangerine Beauty’ crossvine, Carolina jessamine, and trumpet honeysuckle.

Bird's Nest Ferns 
Enjoy the beautiful foli- age of these forgiving plants inside. ‘Victoria’ is a graceful kind to try. Place in a location with bright, filtered light. Water when soil feels slightly dry. Once the weather warms, you can even put it outside in a shady spot. Place it in a pot with impatiens for a colorful combination.


Smart Watering
 
Water efficiently using drip hoses. Drip irrigation applies water slowly so it can be absorbed more efficiently. Make the task even more effective by con- necting the hose to a mechanical timer at your hose bib, saving water, money, and time.