In the Garden: March
Monthly guide for gardening tasks, forecasts, and more

UPDATE: This In the Garden, monthly guide for March, has been updated with new gardening tasks and scheduled plantings, and Farmers' Almanac weather forecasts and moon phases for March 2016. Thinking about starting a new hobby? Maybe grow a bit of your own food or flower this year? Get growing and going with this post from the archives, Preparing Your (New or Existing) Garden.

This month's In the Garden graphics are in honor of my late mother, Margaret Ann, or Peggy as she was called, who loved quilts, and window boxes, and blooming bulbs. She admired pretty as much as she was pretty. I miss her all year long, but I hear her voice strongest right around her birthday, March 6. If she's watching, she'll be happy to see that I'm planning my flower boxes. This year, I'm planting jonquils in a public garden in her memory. 
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
In like a lion, out like a lamb for much of the country, March will see winter's chilly nights arise to Spring's warmer days, yielding crisp sunny afternoons that just give a peek at the riotous glory to come. It's perfect gardening weather, and that's a great thing, because break's over, friends. It's time to get busy!

Below, find planting information for USDA Zone 8.  Adjust accordingly for the zone in which you garden-- you can find more information about your plant hardiness zone on the map below, and here.

Things To Do In March

Begin monthly feedings of hibiscus after pruning. Start a rose feeding schedule; spray and feed camellias. Begin fertilizing azaleas after they bloom. Fertilize established fruit and nut trees with 1 lb. 15-5-10 per inch of trunk diameter. Berry bushes should receive 1/3 cup per square yard of planting area.

Watch for aphids on new growth, spider mites on older leaves and cut worms on young transplants. Spray peach and plum trees for curculio weevils when 3/4 of the petals have fallen (repeat three times at two week intervals).

Prune hibiscus, also spring flowering shrubs and trees, after they bloom. Prune and train vines. Shape spring-blooming shrubs with light pruning after bloom. Allow bulb foliage to yellow and die before removing.

18th-22nd A most barren period, best for killing plant pests or doing chores around the farm. 23rd-24th Fine for sowing grains, hay, and forage crops. Plant flowers. Favorable days for planting root crops. 25th-27th Start seedbeds. Good days for transplanting. Excellent time for planting root crops that can be planted now. Also good for Leafy vegetables. 28th-29th Barren days, do no planting. 30th-31st Any root crops that can be planted now will do well.
20th-23rd. Sunshine gives way to clouds. 24th-27th. Major storm brings a late-season blizzard to parts of Southern Plains for Easter with up to a half-foot of accumulation possible. 28th-31st. Mainly sunny. (Find forecasts for your region, here.)

Full Worm Moon – March As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.
For more information about seasonal forecasts and gardening in your area, consult the Farmers' Almanac.

Things To Plant In March

Flower Plants
achillea (yarrow), ageratum, alyssum, joseph's coat, summer forget-me-not, african daisy, alpine aster, butterfly weed, balloon flower, balsam, blue daze, blue cardinal flower, boltonia, scarlet bouvardia, browallia, calliopsis, candytutft, chocolate plant, chrysanthemum, cigar platn, cleome, cockscomb, coleus, columbine, copper plant, coreopsis, dahlia, dianthus, daisy (michaelmas, shasta and painted). feverfew. gao;;ardoa. geranium, gomphrena, hibiscus, hollyhock, indian blanket, jacobinia, lamb's ear, lantana, liatris, edging lobelia, mexican heather, nasturtium, nierembergia, penstemon, penta, petunia, phlox drummondi, plumbago, oriental poppy, salvia, sedum, spiderwort, stokes' aster, sunflower, torenia, veronica.

Flower Seeds
ageratum, balsam, amethyst flower, candytuft, castor bean, cleome, butterfly pea, cosmos, dahlia, echinacea, feverfew, impatiens, moonflower, cyperss vine, gomphrena, sunflower, nasturtium, flowering tobacco, pinks, portulace, sweet sultan, marigold, tithonia, torenia, verbena.

achimenes, acidanthera, allium, alstromeria, amarcrinum, amaryllis, ground orchid, caladium, calla, canna, crinum, crocosmia, dahlia, daylily, butterfly iris, ginger, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, hosta, spider lily, yellow star grass, liriope, monkey grass, rain lily, society garlic, tigridia, tuberose.

Vegetables: Early—Mid Month: Asparagus crowns, Collards, Turnip. Mid—Late Month: Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Peppers, Pumpkin, Squash, Watermelon. All Month: Beans, Lettuce, Mustard, Radish, Tomato Plants.
Be prepared to protect plants from frosts and freezes. Give transplants a weekly boost the first month with a liquid plant food or "manure tea".

Herbs: anise, star anise, basil, bay, borage, bouncing bet, caraway, catnip, chives, comfrey, costmary, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, scented geranium, germander, horehound, horseradish, lamb's ear, lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mexican mint marigold, monarda, oregano, parsley, perilla, rosemary, sage, santolina, summer savory, winter savory, sesame, sorrel, southernwood, tansy, tarragon, thyme, common wormwood, roman wormwood, yarrow.

Fruit: container grown fruit and nut trees, vines, bushes

Fun Reading:
Add Charm with Window Boxes: Better Homes and Gardens
Creative Window Boxes: Country Living
Window Box Gardening: Organic Gardening

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  ~Nadine Stair
Planting and gardening information courtesy of the Garden Guide for Austin and Vicinity, published by the Travis County Master Gardener Association.


  1. Your mother sounds like an incredible woman. Wishing her all the best on her b-day! Beautiful picture, btw.

  2. Thank you, Steph! I'll be sure she she's your sweet words.

  3. Very sweet post, and such pretty flowers!

    1. oopa this comment service hasn't worked properly for so long, that I forget that it works now! lol...please see my reply, below.

  4. Thank you, Carla! I wish I could have flowers everywhere I look. But then again, I wish I had a gardener to care for them, too. lol Food takes first fiddle in our gardening energies. But a girl can dream.....

  5. You made me smile today seeing all these flowers! We had snow yesterday and sleet this morning, I am hoping for Spring weather soon...They are forecasting cold all week. Sigh! Love the quote, I noted it as it is just so true!

    1. Well that's only fair as you have given me smiles on many occasions, too! Believe it or not, it froze here last night. We've actually had cooler than average temps, after it hitting 90 the week before. What are we going to do with these weather crazies??

  6. Window boxed gardens have always been on my list of ways to perfect a home from the exterior, wonderful job on yours, if I do say so myself.

    -Evergreen Tree & Shrub Inc.

    1. Thank you for dropping by! Window boxes have always been my favorite home 'jewelry', and they are just foolproof for absent-minded gardeners like myself, when I set them up to automatically water on a timer.

      Best Regards,


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