Monthly Tips – March

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Mercer County Horticultural Activities and Expectations

Click a month button above to view a list of possible problems you might find in your home, landscape or garden during that month and also see a list of suggested “To Do” items:

Things to Do This Month:

  • gradually remove winter mulches
  • clean up the garden
  • have soil tests run
  • improve soil with organic matter and pre-plant incorporation of fertilizer, lime
  • Turf
    • March 1: date that lawn fertilizer application can begin in New Jersey
    • apply pre-emergence crabgrass control (long residual only, late in month)
    • frost seeding lawn (early)
    • apply grub control such as Dylox (late) if needed
    • apply lime if needed
  • reset perennials that have frost-heaved
  • start vegetables and flowers from seed
  • sow seeds outdoors of hardy annuals, such as poppies and cornflower
  • plant sweet peas and garden peas on St. Patrick’s Day, if soil workable
  • plant cold-tolerant vegetables such as onions and peas (mid to late month)
  • look for and remove cedar apple rust galls on Eastern red cedar
  • plant or transplant trees and shrubs when soil workable
  • fertilize trees and shrubs (late)
  • prune peach trees (late)
  • prune trees, shrubs that do not flower in spring (unless renovation pruning)
  • band trees for spring cankerworm
  • apply dormant oils and other dormant sprays (late)
  • apply agricultural gypsum to road salt-affected soil
  • trap woodchucks (groundhogs)

Things to Watch for This Month:

  • emergence from home of over-wintering insects – boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetle, etc.
  • termite reproductives swarm (first warm weather)
  • carpenter ants
  • winged yellow ants swarm
  • silverfish
  • house plant problems
  • wildlife damage from winter
  • winter injury to ornamentals-remedy if possible
  • cornelian cherry dogwood, early daffodils and tulips in bloom (late)
  • winter aconite, snowdrop bloom (early)
  • crocus, chionodoxa, squill, puschkinia, reticulata iris bloom
  • swamp red maple in bloom
  • When severe pruning is necessary on overgrown or winter damaged broadleaved evergreens or yews, cut the plants back at the end of March.
  • Overwintering insects (brown marmorated stink bug, boxelder bug, Asian lady beetle, Western conifer seed bug) that emerge and crawl or fly around indoors.