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March Garden Calendar – NC Mountains

Plants in Flower

  • Saucer Magnolia, Bradford Pear, Flowering Cherry, Forsythia, Star Magnolia, Breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle), Spirea, Flowering Quince, Carolina Jessamine, Periwinkle, Thrift, Violets, Crocus, Daffodil, Hyacinths and Tulips

What to Fertilize

  • Fertilize shrubs and important shade trees.
  • Fertilize asparagus beds early in March before spear growth begins.
  • Farm Ponds should be fertilized starting this month and continuing through October.
  • Before planting your vegetables, fertilize your garden as recommended by your soil test results. Apply the recommended amount of lime if this was not done in the fall.

What to Plant

  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day! In North Carolina Arbor day is always the first Friday after March 15th.
  • Plant your small fruit plants, grape vines and fruit trees before the buds break.
  • March is a good month to transplant trees and shrubs.
  • New shrubs and ground covers can be planted the entire month of March. Be sure to follow your planting plan.
  • Plant seeds of the following perennials: columbine, hollyhock, coreopsis, daisy and phlox. Sweet William can also be planted this month.
  • New rose bushes can be planted this month.
  • Plants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should be set out in the garden in mid-March.
  • The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, potatoes,cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Start any annual flowers or warm-season vegetables inside your home that are not commercially available in early March.

What to Prune

  • Finish pruning fruit trees.
  • Prune spring flowering plants like breath-of-spring (Winter Honeysuckle) and flowering quince after the flowers fade.
  • Prune roses late in March.
  • Prune shrubs like abelia, mahonia and nandina this month if needed.
  • Pick off faded flowers of pansy and daffodil. Pansies will flower longer if old flowers are removed.

Pest Outlook

  • Scout the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: euonymus-scale and juniper-spruce spider mites. Begin treating hybrid rhododendron for borer insects.
  • Start your rose spray program just prior to bud break on hybrid tea roses.
  • Check Hemlock trees for Woolly Adelgids in early March. If observed treat with a recommended insecticide. Contact your local Extension office for the latest recommendations.
  • Kudzu bugs appear this month.
  • If your apple or pear trees are in bloom, begin sprays of Streptomycin to prevent Fireblight.

Lawn Care

  • Cool-season lawns may be fertilized with 10-10-10 or turf-type fertilizers if not done in February.
  • Apply crabgrass herbicides to your lawn late this month to help control crabgrass in the turf. Wait to apply when Forsythia is in full bloom.
  • Mow your tall fescue lawn as needed.
  • Seed bare spots in the lawn with tall fescue and bluegrass if not done in September.


  • Continue to divide perennials like daylily, shasta daisy, purple coneflower and rudbeckia this month.

Specific Chores

  • Check all garden equipment, lawn mowers, tillers, hedge trimmers, tools, hoses and sprayers to see if they are in good working order before they are needed.
  • Prune away last season’s growth on older perennial plantings, like peony, hollyhock and phlox.