Pull on your muck boots before you head into the yard; it’s mud season in the Midwestern garden! In Indianapolis this month, we’re hunting for bulb foliage, watching for returning birds, and cleaning up the garden after a grey winter.
What To See in the March Garden
- Daffodils, crocus, and tulips are all pushing their way out of the soil in our zone 6 landscapes. Forgot where you planted them last year? Daffodils have round, flat tips on their leaves, while the leaves of tulips are pointed and curl a bit as soon as they come out of the ground.
- Forsythia shrubs are an early sign of spring; watch for their brilliant yellow blooms.
- Birds are returning to the garden. Scrub out your birdfeeders and fill them up to lure migrating birds in.
- Fruit trees and spring-blooming shrubs have formed buds that are starting to swell. When you prune, take some branches inside to force early blooms. Just put a fresh cut on each branch and drop it into room-temperature water.
What to Do This Month
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- Cleaning up the garden for spring and early spring pruning.
- Pruning fruit trees in early March, before the trees break dormancy.
- Designing new gardens; we’ll start planting once the soil dries.
Other Tasks in the Organic Garden This Month
- Wait for soil to become dry enough to work before doing any planting. Soil should crumble when you squeeze it in your hand; if it sticks in a ball, it’s still too wet.
- Direct sow peas, potatoes, onions, turnips, radishes, and spinach once the soil has dried. If the soil doesn’t dry in March, push that planting back to April.
- If you’re starting your own summer crops inside, plant them around the end of March to transplant out in early May.