Monday, March 1, 2010

Trish's March Suggestions

(alphabetical by type)


If it looks pretty in the garden beds of subdivisions now, then don’t buy any! It is time to start planning for warm season flowers. If you buy a beautiful flowering cool-season plant now, it will be to add short-lived color, but it will be dead in another six weeks. Make room now for your warm-season annuals. Till up a bed for some summer flowers and spend under $5 for seeds for an inexpensive color burst. It is time to keep an eye on the winter growing annuals. They will begin to decline now that the weather is warming and the days are lengthening. It’s a good time to start saving seed for next fall.

Plant and sow now: Cosmos, Firewheel (Indian Blanket Flower), Hollyhocks, Mexican Sunflower, Morning Glory (careful, careful… they take over. Many varieties are actually illegal in AZ), Nasturtium, Portulaca, Sunflower, Zinnias

Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes, & Tubers

It is time to fertilize bulbs that have been underground. Trim your cannas for more beautiful growth and less bug infestation. HINT: I plant my bulbs half to two-thirds as deep as recommended by the grower. Most don’t need to go lower than that because our winters aren’t harsh.

Plant: Amaryllis, Caladium (lots of shade), Calla, Crape Flower, Crinum, Gladiolus, Manfreda, Rain Lily, Spider Lily

Cacti and Succulents

It’s time to look for a spot to plant some Agave. They need some afternoon shade, especially when they are young and tender and will eventually be able to be moved somewhere with full sun as they mature, if desired. It is also time to trim back chollla and prickly pear.


If this the year that you want to add some citrus trees to the yard, this is the very best time to plant them! So go get yourself a grapefruit tree for some nice spring breakfasts and an Arizona Orange for wonderful late winter snacking when you need your vitamin C the most!

Did you plant strawberries? They need moist soil to grow well and produce good fruit. Mulch them well to keep evaporation to a minimum. They are called STRAW berries because early farmers would place straw beneath the plants to prevent rotting as the berries touched the ground. Farmers still do it, we can do it too. It’s cheap, lightweight and easy. Anyone want to go in with me and buy a bail?!


For all you “dirt yard” owners, this is the time to get ready to plant your lawn. Next month is really the time to seed, but if you trench for irrigation and level your soil and prepare now, you will be the first to lay seed and have a green lawn for spring and summer! So choose your variety and get a move on! For a great education on the different varieties that grow here, visit the ASU Cooperative Extension Office on Broadway in Phoenix where you can view side by side 8 different varieties growing together!


Trim up your vines this month to keep them in control. This includes lantana and bougainvillea.

Time to plant and sow: bee balm, blackfoot daisies, blanket flower, chrysanthemum, daylily, delphinium, four o’clocks (sow these, they don’t transplant), lantana, penstemon, salvia, Shasta daisies, statice


It is too late to plant bareroot roses, it is time to buy potted. Remove spent blooms to encourage new buds. It’s a good time to fertilize, too. I go to Starbucks and ask for Ground for Gardeners. They are always happy to give me (for free) the used grounds from the day! These make great fertilizer for Roses, Azeleas, Camelias, and all of the acid loving flowers that grow in Georgia! Toward mid-late month, you will begin to see aphids. When you do, call your local garden center and see if they have received their lady bugs yet! Get the kids and release a few caterpillars a day (if you release them all at once, you will be giving them for free to the neighborhood.) They don’t like to be crowded by others of their kind.
Skipping Shrubs and Trees for the sake of time… email me if you have questions.

Veggies and Herbs

Keeping it short, I will say… it is still time to plant. Keep caring for plants you planted in February and keep the weeds out of the garden beds. J You can begin now to take cuttings on your herbs for use in dishes or to dry for later. Divide your oregano, mints and lemon grass.

Sow: amaranth, artichoke, asparagus, beans, beets, black-eyed peas, bulb onions, bunching onions, bush beans, carrots, celery, chard, collards, cucumbers, endive, gourds, jicama, lima beans, melons (yes, all kinds), mustard greens, okra, parsley, peas, peanuts (late in March), pumpkins, radish, rutabaga, spinach, summer squash, sweet corn, turnips, watermelons

Transplant: Tomatoes and peppers.

Sow Herbs: basil, bay, calendula, chives, Cuban oregano, epazote, lemon grass, lemon verbena, marjoram, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican oregano, parsley, peppermint, sesame, spearmint.

1 Garden Reflections:

Crystal said...

Thanks, Trish. I've cut and pasted and printed this to take with me to Lowe's today. We're behind from being out of town, and trying to catch up! (We now have an actual garden!!!! Yea!!!)