Laidback Gardening: What to Do in March ?

Spring officially begins on March 20. Days of 12 hours or more stimulate plant growth, and gardeners’ brains, which have been dormant for months. In April and May, many northern gardeners will have their hands full with their seedlings and perhaps some outdoor work, but in March, we can still afford to procrastinate a little. There are, however, a few things you can do before you get too busy, or if you’ve avoided doing them in February, like me!

What to do in March?

  • Sow plants that like an early start;
  • Buy your summer bulbs;
  • Re-pot your houseplants;
  • Take cuttings from annual plants;
  • Take cuttings from your houseplants;
  • Resume fertilization of houseplants;
  • Clean your windows;
  • Prune your fruit trees… with snowshoes;
  • Monitor your houseplants for insect infestations;
  • Plant ginger indoors for fall harvests.

Sow Plants That Like an Early Start

The indoor planting season gets off to a gentle start in March. Beware: many gardeners start too early, resulting in tall, etiolated plants. The aim is to have young, vigorous plants for accelerated growth outdoors. Here are some seedlings to start in early March and mid-March.

Clematis like an early start. Photo: Deneen LT

Buy Your Summer Bulbs

Summer bulbs, such as tuberous begonias, cannas, callas, dahlias, gladioli, etc., are currently available in Canada and European garden centers. Spring atmosphere replaces winter, with a variety of seeds on display. Rooted cuttings of annuals are also on offer, for potting at home.

Gladioli. Photo: monicore

Re-Pot Your Houseplants

Repotting houseplants is essential to promote their growth. Repotting is usually carried out in spring, but can also be done in summer or early autumn. Most plants benefit from one repotting a year, while young, fast-growing plants may need two a year. Mature plants that are not very active in their growth, such as indoor trees or cacti, can remain in the same pot for 4 to 7 years.

While you’re at it, treat your plants to a spa day, as they find winter difficult in our dark, dry homes.

Take Cuttings From Annual Plants

In early autumn, I brought in cuttings of annuals such as pelargoniums, begonias, impatiens, coleus, etc., to keep them over winter. Rooted quickly, they become additional houseplants. The aim is to keep them alive for replanting in spring. By taking cuttings from only two plants per variety, I can limit the amount of space taken up indoors. With the arrival of March, it’s time to take cuttings from these rooted plants.

Take Cuttings From Your Houseplants

Cutting reproduces plants by stimulating the growth of new roots and stems from sections of existing plants. This can be done with stems, although some plants can also be cut from leaves. Indoor plants are ideal for this method, which can also be applied outdoors in summer. With the days getting longer, it’s a good time to do it!

Resume Fertilizing Houseplants

In temperate regions, fertilization of houseplants ceases in October as light diminishes and growth ceases, but gardeners using grow lights can fertilize all year round with more than 12 hours of light. In late February and March, with longer days, growth resumes, signaling the time to resume fertilization.

Clean Your Windows

By keeping windows clean, you allow more light to penetrate inside, encouraging your plants to grow. Be sure to clean both sides of the glass for maximum transparency.

Prune Your Fruit Trees… on Snowshoes

The best time to prune most trees is early spring, before budburst, to promote faster healing. In winter, with abundant snow, access to medium-sized trees for pruning is easier with snowshoes. In April, access is more limited once the snow has melted.

Watch Out for Insect Infestations in Your Houseplants

Some houseplant pests have calmed down during the short-day period by going into diapause, but as the days lengthen at the end of January, they become active again and start breeding abundantly from the beginning of March.

Photo: Madison Inouye

Plant Ginger Indoors for Autumn Harvests

To grow ginger, plant it indoors at the end of winter, choosing organic rhizomes with several eyes. Fill a pot with moist potting soil and plant the rhizome in 2-3 cm (1 inch) sections, with the eyes pointing upwards. Use a transparent mini-greenhouse or plastic bag to maintain humidity and temperature. Once the soil has warmed up, you can plant your ginger in the ground even in temperate climates, but it’s often more practical to grow it in a pot.

Vous pouvez obtenir une assez bonne récolte à partir de seulement quelques plantes.

Mathieu manages the and websites. He is also a garden designer for a landscaping company in Montreal, Canada. Although he loves contributing to the blog, he prefers fishing.

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