March 'Musts' To Prepare Your Lawn and Garden for Spring
Landscaping tips and suggestions for the month of March.
With the temperature starting to creep upwards and daylight savings time providing us with an additional hour of daylight, I can finally feel the season of spring slowly awakening and stretching its arms.
The grass on my property is no longer a dusty brown, but has started to regain a chartreuse hue, and the birds have begun singing simple melodies.
My spring pink cloud popped when I realized that now is probably the time to get the garden tools out of the shed.
Besides the dreaded “spring cleaning” that comes this time of year, prepping my lawn and garden for the upcoming “big bloom” is at the top of my list of things I do not want to do.
But, dutiful housekeeper that I am, I decide responsibility does not just lie in the upkeep of the inside of my house, but of the outside, as well.
Spring planting and lawn maintenance can be tricky in the month of March since the weather is variable and can still become precarious. However, there are certain steps that should be done in the month of March in order to guarantee a beautiful lawn and garden come springtime.
Here are a few basic landscaping tips that should be done in the month of March:
Remove all protective coverings and winter mulch
Any covers placed on young shrubs or trees during the winter should be removed this month and all winter mulch around plants should be removed.
Prune all trees and shrubs before any new growth begins
- it is best to wait a little while after flowers bloom on flower shrubs so as to not cut off any limbs that would provide flower or fruit formation.
- Walnut, Maple, and Birch trees are best pruned after leafing.
Observe and Examine Your Lawn
Look over your property for any moss or fungus that could have developed. The winter thaw that comes in March provides prime conditions for the growth of lawn diseases such as snow mold and fungus. If you feel your lawn may be diseased, it is best to contact a professional lawn care company to assess the situation and clear up the problem before spring arrives.
It is also a good idea to test your soil pH in March. This way, you know if you need to make any changes to your traditional lawn care. Keep in mind that soil in New Jersey is naturally acidic.
Be sure to clean up any remaining winter debris on your lawn and try to remove any thatch buildup. Thatch is the organic matter that grows beneath your blades of grass, but above the soil, in the winter. If not removed, the thatch could severely inhibit healthy growth. Aerating the soil will also help with thatch removal, as well as soil compaction, which can prevent significant water and air from reaching the soil.
Re-seeding can only be done after the lawn has properly been cured of diseases, aerated, and thatch has been removed. An organic fertilizer is the best bet for a spring feeding. Grass reseeding can only be done after the lawn has been fertilized.
However, dandelions tend to poke up towards the end of this month so early spring is the best time to start weeding. Jump starting weed control could save hours of weed pulling later once the weather really warms up!
Schedule spring fertilization for your trees and shrubs
Certain lawn care companies can be hired to inject liquid fertilizer into the ground near your trees. These organic fertilizers are customized for your specific outdoor needs, but contain a variety of macro and micro nutrients which replenish the soil and renew your trees.
If you have not transplanted trees or shrubs during the winter months, now is the time to do it before the plant begins to bud.
March is the best month for planting fruit trees, berries, rose bushes, and other deciduous plants.
You can also begin to plant your annuals that enjoy cooler weather such as snapdragons, calendulas and pansies.