For the gardener and or nature lover, March is truly the dawn of the year. Even in
it's first few days, when patches of snow still cover the ground in shady spots
and in the woods, you are quite likely to come upon your first blossoms of spring.
Some of the early wildflowers to bloom are Liverwort, Skunk Cabbage, Yellow Trout
Lily, Trailing Arbutus, and Wake Robins.
Some early plants around your home that bloom in March are Crocus, Snowdrops,
Aconites, Helleborus, Daffodils and Dwarf Iris. If you walk around and check out
your beds you should see lots of your bulbs pushing through the ground, tulips,
lilies, daffodils, hyacinths, and many others. As the weather warms and the days
get longer, you can almost see them grow more and more every day.
Native American Indians named each month for the most striking events taking
place in it. So with its first stirrings of flowers, trees, and animals from their
long winter sleep, March was called the "Wakening Moon".
Here in the Northern Hemisphere spring arrives on March 20th, and our daylight hours
will begin to grow longer. On this day the Sun appears to circle the globe at the
Equator. It is known as the VERNAL EQUINOX. (vernal means spring)
From this day on, the Sun will appear to move further north every day until the
Summer Solstice, when the Sun will circle the Earth at the Tropic of Cancer.
Hence the English word "spring" which means rising. Also on March 20th,
when the Earth's tilt is exactly sideways to the Sun ... day and night are of
equal length at all points on the Earth's surface, it is called an Equinox.
As soon as the weather turn nice outside many people are tempted to go out and begin
planting. But don't be too hasty ... Remember that March has had its share of
snowstroms and cold weather.
If you can't wait, make sure you cover your plants if they are calling for a
frost in your area. Don't let a warmish day coax you into removing winter mulch
Your shrubs that bloom in the late summer on the wood that will be produced this
summer like Hydrangea, Buddleia(butterfly bush), and Rose of Sharons can be pruned now.
Early spring is the best time to cut off many of the Ornamental Grasses you may have,
cut them down to about 6-12 inches from the ground. This is also a good time to prune
any grapevines, Cherries, Plums, or Peach trees you have.
It is best to wait until the buds break on roses before they are pruned.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Here is a list of birds that will be migrating northward in March. If you keep your
feeders filled you have a greater chance of seeing some of them, as they stop by
your feeders for a quick snack or a much needed meal.
To Do List
- March -
Get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful spring weather !!!
Walk around your grounds and check out all your plants, shrubs and trees
Take mower blades to get sharpened now to avoid the spring rush
Examine your trees and shrubs for winter damage...prune any split or broken branches
Check for any plants that may have been heaved out of the ground by frost--push them back in and cover well
Cyclamens, Poinsettias and Christmas Cherries from the holidays can be put in the basement to rest
Bring Fuchsias up from the basement and place them at a window
Some gardeners circumvent the borer by burning over their Iris, at this time of the year
A top dressing of manure now will help your daffodils, perennial beds and shrubs
If you have any arbors, check to make sure they are sturdy before new growth begins
Many of your house plants can be repotted this month
Start hotbeds now, sow seeds of tender and half-hardy plants in them
Sow snapdragon, verbena, petunia, and lobelias indoors
Indoors start tuberous Begonias and Caladiums
Try and attend more meetings of your local garden club
Attend one of the great flower shows in New York, Boston, or Philadelphia this month