Gardening ABCs for March
from the Johnson County Master Gardener Association

Apply a slow-release fertilizer at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet to the garden area, where you plan to start new plants.

Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer to asparagus and pecan trees.

Apply a complete fertilizer with supplemental iron and micronutrients to fruiting and landscape plants like roses, to promote good, early growth and a fertilizer with a 5-10-5 ratio to young onion plants to get them off to a good start.

AVOID fertilizing warm-season turf grasses until vigorous growth begins. Remember, the last average freeze date for north-central Texas is still March 16. If you start fertilizing too soon, you’ll only encourage the growth of cool-season grasses and spring weeds. Unless, of course, that’s what you want.

Avoid pruning Red Oaks until next January due to their high susceptibility to oak wilt disease.

Begin looking for blue bird boxes, purple martin and wren houses and clean and install hummingbird feeders.

Begin applications of a pre-emergent such as Betasan or Team early in the month to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs, then repeat in early June.

Begin applications of general-purpose insecticide to eliminate aphids from tender new shrubs and flowers, wash them off with a strong stream of water or use insecticidal soaps.

Begin applications of fungicides to roses and fruit crops early in the month.

Begin planting pencil-size onion sets with healthy roots and tops.

Beware of onion sets with roots that are pink, indicating the presence of a soil-borne fungus. Transplanting infected plants will transfer the disease to your garden.

Complete the pruning of deciduous trees (with the exception of Red Oaks) and shrubs before they begin to produce leaves.

Complete the plantings of leafy and root vegetables, and cool-season annuals such as pansies, kale, stock and snapdragons.

Complete the digging and dividing of summer and fall-flowering perennials before new growth begins.

Control weeds by scalping your lawn early in the month. This will prevent the germination of undesirable plants and will also allow the sunlight to warm the soil faster, thus promoting the growth of turf grasses.

Control dandelions, clover, chickweed, hen bit or any undesirable, non-grassy plants with spot applications of a broad-leaf weedkiller.

“Happy Gardening!”

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