Local Gardening Tips for March Including Pruning, Seeding, and More

Pundits like to say that all politics is local. That is also true about gardening. Due to the different climates around the country, springtime routines are somewhat different region to region. Moreover, you need to take into account one last blast from Old Man Winter.

Here are suggestions for gardeners as we slide from the middle of March into April.

All Regions

Plants both indoors and out are waking up. As a result, experts suggest you start feeding houseplants again and repot if necessary. Try not to walk on wet soil in the garden and test your soil.


Start seeding indoors.


The warmer weather is back, but there still is a chance for that one last cold spell. So stay prepared. Keep watering the outside garden, especially any new plants. Start exchanging summer annuals for the cool weather ones and get perennials in the ground so that they can establish themselves for the growing season. It’s also the time to plant summer bulbs, tubers as well as other plants including blood lily, caladiums, canna and elephant ears. Plant warm season vegetables before the temperatures rise too much. Finish pruning winter shrubs and cut back flowering shrubs when the blossoms start to fade. Transplant citrus trees from their containers. Fertilize established trees and hold off feeding new trees for another four to six weeks.


Start feeding your garden and keep mulching.


Plant hardy annuals before the last expected frost. Wait for the soil to warm and dry, then plant summer bulbs and tubers. Plant perennial vegetables, fruits and shrubs once the threat of frost is over and the ground has thawed. Prune roses before the buds break.


March is a good time to do pruning.
(Courtesy: Robin at flickr.com)

Start seeds indoors, cut back the grass and sub-shrub perennials including Buddfleia and Caryopteris. Check shrubs for damage and finish pruning them. Spray fruit trees and remove burlap covers from evergreens.


Start seeds of warm season vegetables and flowers indoors and prune spring flowering trees and shrubs to force them to bloom. Monitor plant crowns so you are aware if they heaved out of the ground during a thaw. Remove mulch as temperatures rise at the end of the month.

Northern California

Plant summer blooming bulbs and tubers and fertilize trees and shrubs. Feed roses and include Epson salt. Mix half a cup of Epsom salt into the soil around the rose bush and water well.

Pacific Northwest

Start seeds of greens indoors. Amend soil and side dress existing plants and deadhead early bloomers. Keep mulching. Search out and remove slugs and set apple maggot traps.


Plant cool season vegetables including Broccoli, cabbage, chard, greens, lettuce, peas, root vegetables, flowers, and berry bushes. Start seeds of warm season vegetable including eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes and flowers indoors. Direct seed cool season greens and root crops including beets, carrots, onions, radishes and turnips outdoors. Finish pruning woody plants while they are dormant.

Southern California

Hunt for slugs and snails, spray fruit trees and start seeds if you haven’t already. Spray fruit trees and start seeds if you haven’t already.


Remove mulch and start warming the soil. Plant beets, corn, greens, lettuce, potatoes, and summer bulbs outdoors and plant eggplant, melons, peppers, tomatoes, squash indoors.

About Robert Janis

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