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March Gardening Tips

Garden Maintenance

  • Prune grapes and roses
  • Cleanup: remove mummy fruit and blighted limbs on stone fruit to reduce brown rot. Remove and destroy fallen leaves to reduce peach leaf curl.
  • Mulch cane berries, cut out all old canes and reset new canes in twine.
  • Cultivate and pull weeds now!
  • If weather permits, prepare beds for planting by spading in compost an soil amendments.
  • Check irrigation system and perform maintenance as needed.
  • Divide and replant herbs
  • To prevent sunburn and borer problems, paint young tree trunks with water based interior white latex paint 1:1 with water.
  • Consider replacing plants to improve the safety and sustainability of your property.
  • Check dates of Master Gardener classes.


  • Cane berries, strawberries and strawberries
  • Deciduous fruit and young shade trees at first sign f leaves, young conifers, cool season grass and roses.
  • Kiwis (give ? of recommended annual PNK, ? in May)
  • Citrus are heavy nitrogen feeders. Mature trees need 1 ½ lbs. N per year. Divide this amount by 4 and apply each quarter one month apart for 4 months, beginning in March.
  • Daphne and camellia with NPK bloom.
  • All shrubs except newly planted. Wait until after bloom for azaleas and rhododendrons.

Spray: Check the California Backyard Orchard website for current information.

  • All fruit, nuts, roses with 50% wettable copper powder
  • Stone fruits: fixed copper when buds are swollen and starting to show first color to control brown rot, peach leaf curl, pseudomonas, blossom and canker infections. If wet conditions prevail and if mummies have been a problem
  • Apples: when apple buds first show signs of green and repeat spray every 10 days until bloom where scab is a problem. In many cases this treatment may be combined with February insect controls. 
  • Check roses for black spot, mildew and rust and spray if needed.
  • Watch for early signs of powdery mildew on grapes, roses and ornamentals. Treat at 2-4” of growth if needed. Apply sulfur or potassium bicarbonate when temperature is below 90 degrees.
  • Check roses for aphids; control with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

What to plant in March

Trees, shrubs, perennials

  • Container roses, shrubs and trees.
  • Grapes, cane berries, rhubarb.


  • Below 2000 ft: Canterbury Bells, Forget-Me-Nots, Foxglove, Pansies, Primula and other available perennials.
  • Above 2000 ft: you can still plant flowering Sweet Pea seeds – now!


  • From seed : radish, lettuce, chard, snap beans.
  • Greenhouse or Cold Frame: Hardy annuals from seed such as delphinium, nemesia, matthiola (stock). Below 2000 ft: eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, all melons and squash family. Above 2000 ft: lettuce, cabbage family.


  • Seed and renovate lawns