Gardening in March Will Soothe Spring Fever

— Written By and last updated by Nancy Power
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SpringIntoGardening_Logoby Susan Kelly

The snow is finally melting, the slippery roads are a memory and we can abandon our heavy coats and gloves for another year! It is time to get out in the fresh air and take care of spring tasks in the garden. Your landscape and yard may look brown, but closer inspection reveals signs that spring is just around the corner. Daffodils and other bulbs are poking out of the ground, weeds are growing and leaf and flower buds are swelling in the trees and shrubs. This is a great time to get back into the practice of noticing the changes in your yard and doing some planting and maintenance. March is a good time to fertilize plants like shrubs and special trees as they begin their spring growth. Asparagus beds should be fertilized before the spears begin to grow. If your soil test recommended a fertilizer or lime application, this would be a good time to add and till in before planting your spring garden. This is also a good time to plant small fruit plants, grape vines, fruit trees and roses. The plants are still dormant or just beginning to grow and will be established in the ground before the surge of new growth begins. Transplanting trees and shrubs should also take place this month before they start new growth. If you are installing plants that are not cold-hardy in the spring, you should be aware of the frost-free dates for our area. On average we have a risk of frost from Nov. 1 through April 3. There is still a chance that parts of the county would receive frost later, but the probability of frost lessens.Are you really ready for a workout? This would be a great time to incorporate compost into the vegetable garden, remove any debris left from the winter and remove those early spring weeds that are starting to grow. If you use raised beds for your garden, you will probably need to add soil to replace the soil that has settled or been removed with the crops.

Starting in mid-March, you can plant cool-season vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, lettuce, turnips, kale and potatoes. Warm-season vegetables can be started indoors from seed, including peppers and tomatoes.

March is a good time to prune roses, fruit trees, overgrown shrubs and spring-flowering plants after the flowers fade. Perennials such as day lily, Shasta daisy, gaillardia and coreopsis can be divided for transplanting now as well.

Take the time to observe what is happening outdoors, because spring is a lovely time in our area of the state.

The Richmond County Cooperative Extension Office is the place to go with your gardening questions for spring. We can also send your soil samples to NCDA and help you understand the results of the testing. For more info call 910-997-8255, email Paige Burns Clark at, or visit our website at N.C. Cooperative Extension Richmond County Center.

Susan Kelly is a former county extension director for the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Richmond County Center.

Written By

Susan Kelly, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionSusan KellyAssistant Extension Director for County Operations Call Susan Email Susan Extension Administration
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Jan 14, 2021
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