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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 and strawberries.
  • Deciduous fruit and young shade trees at first sign f leaves, young conifers, cool season grass and roses.
  • Kiwis (give 2/3 of recommended annual PNK, 1/3 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. 
  • Apples: for apple scab, 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