Gardener’s Guide: March Gardening by Region

If you’ve found yourself suddenly stuck at home with nothing to do during the coronavirus outbreak (oh, darn), you might consider getting in some gardening! With the abundance of abnormally warm weather this year, gardeners are itching to slip into their gloves and boots–and this March is the perfect time to start. If you’re wondering just what you should be doing in the garden right now, don’t worry. Here, we’ve outlined our favorite March gardening activities by region. 

Northeast March Gardening

Northeastern gardeners know that March is a fickle season. Sometimes it snows, sometimes it rains, and sometimes the weather is picture perfect. While the northeast has seen everything from rain and snow showers to 70 degree weather this month, there are some tasks you can do no matter what the weather holds. 

  • Begin germinating the seeds you plan to plant this spring. Our favorites include brussel sprouts, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce. To germinate seeds inside, place them in a warm place, such as on top of the refrigerator or under a lamp. For a comprehensive germination guide, click here
  • Sow your peas. You can do this whether there’s snow on the ground or not! 
  • Begin pruning your fruit trees. It’s best to prune fruit trees when they’re dormant (late winter to early spring). If you have spring-blooming shrubs, prune the buds right after flowering.  

Southeast March Gardening

In the south, there’s much more to do in the garden. Southerners will not only be performing March chores, but will also be preparing for April chores. 

  • Start planting. If you’re planning to plant peas, you’ll want to do it as soon as possible while it’s still cool. Our favorite veggies to plant include greens, beans, corn, and squash. 
  • Prune your fruit trees while they’re still dormant–and don’t forget to finish pruning your evergreens by the end of the month!
  • Prune your summer-flowering plants that form blooms on new growth.
  • Fill your bird feeders and clean bird houses and baths to welcome your spring guests. 
  • Clean your rose beds by removing debris, re-mulching, and fertilizing.
  • Start selecting the your spring plants! Make a color and texture chart to determine what kinds of plants you’ll want in your garden this year, then embark on a little retail therapy.
  • Begin planting berries and citrus. For already-established citrus trees, begin fertilizing them now. 

Midwest March Gardening

In the Midwest, March is a busy time of month! Here are some gardening chores we suggest starting:

  • Plant cool-season veggies. Our favorites include peas, lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower. 
  • Start germinating your warm-season seeds indoors. Again, here’s a comprehensive guide for seed germination. 
  • Get out the shears because it’s time to prune. Prune your fruit trees–such as pear, apple, and cherry trees–while they’re still dormant. Prune summer-blooming shrubs but not your spring-blooming shrubs. Only prune spring-blooming shrubs after they’ve bloomed. You can also begin pruning your roses to ward off plant disease when the weather gets warmer. 
  • If you grow rhubarb or asparagus, now is the time to fertilize! 
  • Begin weeding your garden and clearing out winter debris. You can compost old mulch to enrich your soil but make sure you don’t compost anything that is diseased.
  • Finally, at the end of the month, start dividing your perennials. But only divide spring-blooming perennials after they’ve bloomed. 

Southwest March Gardening

It’s planting time in the southwest! 

  • Begin planting cool-weather veggies, such as beets, peas, potatoes, and carrots. When the end of the month nears, sow your beans, cucumbers, squash, and melons. 
  • Continue planting your warm-weather fruits and veggies intro April. Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are excellent choices to plant now!
  • Begin fertilizing your fruit trees when the leaves get more vibrant and bushy.  
  • Fertilizer and compost your garden beds to ensure they have enough nutrients for the start of spring. 
  • Begin planting your citrus trees.
  • If you have agave, begin dividing it. 

Northwest March Gardening

As in the northeast, weather in the northwest can be fickle. But March is still a pretty busy time of the year here!

  • Depending on the weather, you should begin planting. If the weather is at or below 40 degrees, you should plant your kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and peas. When it rises above 40 degrees, plant your berries. 
  • Add compost to your garden bed as soon as it thaws. 
  • Plant trees while the weather is still cool. 
  • Take care of slugs! As soon as spring bulbs emerge, the slugs will appear. Instead of using insecticides, try finding natural predators, such as frogs, that can keep the slugs out of your garden. 
  • Prune your roses and shrubs.
  • Take care of your garden. Fertilize, weed, and clear old debris! 

No matter which region you live in, there’s always something to do in March. You can begin planning for what you want to buy when the weather warms up–and you can begin sprucing up the windows and porch with window boxes and hanging baskets! 

For more gardening tips, check out our Gardener’s Guides