Things in March start warming up and the plants start awakening from their winter sleep. During this month, things become busy for gardeners as they prune, transplant, plant, and get all their labor intensive work done around the yard. We are reminded that summer is just around the corner and things need to get done. Every weekend is important as we start the countdown to 100 degree days. Garden centers bring out everything that's green and blooms with many people spending lots and lots of money on new exciting plants. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a garden center. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE is out shopping for plants. My recommendation is to try and stay focused on what you need to get done around your yard. Remember that gardens evolve and take time. March is the month to begin all your fun ideas!! For example, my focus this year is on purchasing citrus plants for our project on the East Side while I need to purchase bamboo for the planters along the Southern Side Planters. Also watch as plants begin to leaf out and come back to life. Here is a list of things to do around your own yard.
What To Plant:
- Desert-adapted landscape plants-Transplant trees, shrubs, vines, ornamental grasses, ground covers, perennials, succulents, and cacti.
- Cool season veggies-Sow seeds for a late crop of quick maturing carrots, green onions, baby leaf lettuce and radishes.
- Warm season veggies-Sow seeds for lima and snap beans, corn, cucumber, jicama, melons, and squash. Transplant artichockes, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.
- Citrus-Transplant 2-5 year old citrus trees. It takes about 3 years for trees to bear a reliable citrus crop after transplanting, regardless of the tree's age or size; so it is more economical to purchase smaller specimens.
- Herbs-Get your herb garden ready. Transplant basil, bay, chamomile, chives, epazote, feverfew, lavender, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon verbena, oregano, rosemary, sage, and santolina. Basil, rosemary, and lavendar thrive here!!
- Prune plants before new growth occurs this month. Wait until the threat of frost is over. For Tucson, the general average last frost date is March 15th.
- Fertilize plants before they begin to leaf out.
- If you have Live Oak, get ready for leaf drop.
Source: Phoenix Home and Garden and personal experiences
There you have it. It's quite the list of things to get done. Break up the tasks so that they don't overwhelm you. Do not transplant palm trees at this time as the ground needs to warm up more for these plants. Now that you can start planning, we'll explore the magical idea of a Moonlight Garden tomorrow. Afterwards, I'll speak about allergies and issues in the desert. This is the month when everything begins so stay tuned for more from the garden.