Monthly Gardening Calendar - March
Each month has its special joys and tasks in the garden. Below is a suggested calendar for March. Remember that the gardening depends on weather, so tasks may vary from year to year.
You can download this calendar at: http://www.slideshare.net/cvadheim/march-in-the-southern-california-garden
Best of Show:
§ Flowers: tree/shrub: Bacharis salicifolia, Ceanothus griseum, * Cercis occidentalis, Cleome isomeris, Dendromecon harfordii & rigida, * Fremontodendron species, * Garrya (other than elliptica), * Hyptis emoryi, Lavatera assurgentiflora, Malacothamnus clementinus, Prunus ilicifolia, Rhus integrifolia & ovata, * Calliandra californica; Smaller shrubs: Camissonia spp, Diplacus spp, Encelia californica & farinosa, Gambelia (Galvezia) speciosa, Lepechinia fragrans, Lupinus (bush species), Salvia leucophylla, * Verbena lilacina, Rhus trilobata; Annuals/perennials/bulbs: Bloomeria crocea, Dichelostemma capitatum, Erysimum species, Eschscholzia californica, Gilia capitate, Iris douglasiana, *Heuchera spp, Lasthenia species, Lupinus (annual), Mimulus guttatus, Sisyrinchium bellum, Stachys spp.
§ Fruits/berries: citrus fruits: tangerines, oranges, lemons
§ Foliage: shrubs with white/silver foliage (Bush lupines; Constancea nevinii; Encelia farinosa; Salva leucophylla)
§ Start to think about your gardening priorities for the next gardening year. Consider your many options. Are there shrubs to replace? What can you do to improve habitat for birds? Butterflies? Pollinators?
§ Check hardscape, slopes, trees after heavy rains
§ Repair paths; flood damage if any
§ Check hoses, drip lines – repair if need; warm weather comes quickly!
§ Get the veggie garden ready for warm season crops; fertilize
§ If plants in containers are growing, give them a dose of fertilizer (1/2 strength for natives)
§ From seed: good time to start native shrubs/perennials in nursery containers; start traditional summer veggies in nursery containers – protect from frost
§ Last month to safely plant most native plants
§ Last planting of annual wildflower seeds for late spring/summer bloom: Clarkias, Globe Gilia, Phacelias, Annual Sunflower, Madia
§ Replace plants that didn’t make it from earlier plantings
§ Veggies: plant in ground (from seed or starts) beans, squash, carrots, beets, potatoes
§ Check soil moisture during prolonged dry periods (3 or more weeks) or windy periods; irrigate as needed
§ Check seedlings daily in warm weather
§ Tip-prune (pinch) to promote fullness: most perennials and sub-shrubs that are actively growing now (Gambelia; Salvias; Epilobium; Trichostema; many others)
§ Mow (if desired) cool-season sod-forming grasses, sedges
§ Divide/replant Wetland species (Equisetum, Tules, Cattails, Rushes/sedges
Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month
§ Weedy grasses will take over if you let them; do a little every day to keep on top of it
§ Warm-season weeds will start to poke their heads up; this is a good time to weed, as the ground is still soft
§ Beware of slugs and snails – take action if needed
§ Watch for signs of sucking insects (aphids & others) on new growth; blast off with water if needed.
§ Press wildflowers – or just photograph them – and make note cards or bookmarks with them
§ Enjoy native CA greens in salads, cooked as greens or in stews or soups
§ Take a native crafts or cooking class
Enjoying the garden: Major enjoying month
§ Plant a tree for CA Arbor Day: March 7-14 in 2017
§ Visit a native plant garden/botanic garden – see how the designers use native plants in interesting ways
§ Spend as much time as possible just enjoying being out in your garden – this month begins the enchantment!
§ Sit in the sun and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee
§ Watch the birds building their nests; some may already be feeding their young