March Zone 3

What to do in the garden in March in zone 3

You still can’t actually do a lot IN the garden, but there are gardening related activities you can do.

  • Plan  Relax with a stack of garden catalogs and plan for the next season.  Plot your garden or property on graph paper.
  • Start seeds.  Start the early cool season vegetables such as chives, onion, lettuce, broccoli and peas by the first of the month.  Toward the end of the month or in April you can also start seeds for tomatoes, peppers, annuals and perennials (about 6 weeks before the last frost date).
  • Feed the birds
  • Sort tubers  Sort through stored tubers, roots and bulbs for dahlias, cannas, glads and begonias.  Dispose of anything that has shriveled or decayed.
  • Garden Journal  Work on, or start, your garden journal.  Keep track of plants you want to try, record garden results, keep track of what you plant where and how many for a shopping list next spring.
  • Prune  By end of the month you may get days nice enough to get out and prune trees and shrubs.  Don’t prune any spring flowering shrubs and trees, as the buds have already formed.  Do not prune oaks, elms or walnut until fall.
  • Build a cold frame  With a cold frame you can plant cool season crops such as radishes, spinach, and lettuce in March or April.
  • Build garden structures  By end of the month it may be warm enough out in the garage to start building window boxes, arbors and garden benches.
  • Plant tubers  Buy tubers for begonias and plant them in pots indoors now, they will be ready for your window box or planters by spring.  You will save a lot of money versus buying potted plants at the garden center.
  • Clean tools  Clean and sharpen shovels, hoes and pruners.  Clean and grease the garden sprayer.
  • Leave snow on the evergreens alone  Do not try to remove wet heavy snow from evergreens, you could do more harm than good.  Evergreen limbs remain supple through winter and will bend under the weight, but hopefully will not crack.
  • Check sales  Garden centers may have some great prices on garden accessories and tools left from last year.


  • Prune  Prune fruit trees and summer blooming shrubs if it is nice enough to be out.  This will may have to wait until April.  Do not prune spring bloomers such as lilacs until after they are done blooming.  Prune hybrid tea, grandiflora and floribunda roses to about 6 inches tall.  Prune trees, but not oaks or walnut.  Prune off any limbs damaged over winter.
  • Clean up perennial grass  If the snow melts early and you get a warm day, cut back the dead top growth of perennials and perennial grasses.  Leave about 3 or 4 inches of stems that will help keep hungry rabbits out of the new growth and keep you from stepping on them.
calendarSharon Dwyer