This Month in the Garden: March
Protect From Deer And Rabbits
How To Protect your Plants Against Deer And Rabbits:
- Build fences and cages
- Fencing is one of the most effective ways to manage damage from deer. Fences need to be 8-10ft tall to be effective at keeping deer at bay, as this will help prevent them from jumping into your garden. You can also opt to create cages around your plants with chicken wire to protect your plants during this crucial growing season.
- Spray deer repellent
- An alternative option to fencing is to spray liquid deer or rabbit repellent. Be sure to apply periodically to help it remain effective as it often washes away during rainfall. Very few repellents are meant for use on edible plants like vegetables, so be sure to look at the label before spraying on plants you plan to consume.
Mulch And Fertilizer
March is the mulching time! Mulch before new growth emerges. Now is also a great time to add fertilizer if desired. Be sure your soil is starting to or has thawed, and you’ve checked the weather for any freezing temps, but now would be the perfect time to add some fertilizer to start spring strong to your shrubs and perennials.
Should I Cut Back Or Prune My Plants?
With new growth emerging soon, March is a great time to cut back and prune many of your plants, including:
Coral Bells: Now is a great time to cut back old spent leaves from previous seasons before new growth emerges.
Ornamental Grasses: Feel free to shape up your ornamental grasses that may have gained a more shaggy look over winter
Herbaceous Perennials: Don’t feel the need to rush to cut back your herbaceous perennials. Leaving them be for the time being will give important insects time to emerge for the season.
Shrubs: As you clean out your garden for spring, you may be tempted to start pruning your shrubs, but for plants that bloom on old wood like Forsythia, Lilac, and Quince, you could be cutting back buds in the process. If you see diseased or damaged wood, feel free to cut it back, or if you have a smooth or panicle hydrangea that needs a good trim, now would also be an okay time. If in doubt, don’t cut.
Plants like daffodils and tulips are starting to pop up in many gardens. Make the most of these springtime bloomers by creating your very own cut flower bouquets! Great Garden Tip: If you’re cutting daffodils, be sure to keep these bright beauties in their own vase so their sap doesn’t harm companion plants.