march planting

March Gardening Tips

Planting:
It’s planting season! Soon the clouds will disperse and the sun will start shining.
Before planting, check your area’s last estimated frost day. Here is a great source for that info: Frost Date Map.
Hardy plants are a great start to the season. In the Willamette Valley we need to hold off a few more weeks this year before planting tender plants, especially non-native and/or annual ornamentals and most vegetable starts (unless you have a warmer environment for your starts such as a greenhouse, hoop house or in front of a south facing window).
Some of the plants you can start seeding now are beets, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, onions, lettuce, radishes, cabbage, and spinach. Don’t forget peas and all their great varieties and heirlooms; they thrive in this chilly spring weather.

Propagation:
If you took your cuttings for grafting, you can finally use those scions.
Pro Tip: the key to a solid cut is a sharp and sterile grafting knife!

It’s time to divide up your bulbous and/ or clumping perennials.

Pest Management:
Watch out for early signs of pests, especially slugs, cutworms and aphids. Here are some helpful links for identifying signs and combating them:
Aphids
Insect Pests
Slugs

If you’re noticing any other pest issues, Oregon State University’s Extension website has a plethora of information regarding pest management. When possible, try to take more sustainable and preventative measures to controlling those issues. The health of your soil, including the beneficial organisms in it, will thank you.

Maintenance:
Rake back any excess mulch that has been protecting your perennials all winter long. As amazing as mulch can be, it can slow the warming of the soil below it which inevitably slows the growth of your lovely plants.
Last month you pruned your deciduous trees and bushes, March is a good time to prune back your evergreens. Make sure to do so before they break bud and start growing again. Fertilize them if needed but remember that most well established evergreens flourish without it.

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