Spokane County Extension

Garden - Lawn - Landscape


March is when it all begins in our area. Two plants that wake up early in the spring are rhubarb and asparagus. They both can be planted as soon as you can put a shovel into the ground.

Plant onion sets, shallots, flowering perennials, herbs, landscape trees and shrubs, berry plants and fruit trees. Buy good stock at reputable nurseries and get planting advice from nursery personnel or Master Gardeners.

Hold off on planting any seeds in the garden. Warm days may be tempting, but the ground is usually too wet and too cold. Seeds will most likely rot. Be patient.

Treat lawns for crabgrass or annual bluegrass problems. These are both annual weeds and can be controlled with early season use of pre-emergent weed killers. Apply when the forsythia start to bloom.

Tuberous begonias can be started indoors. Use an acid potting soil such as prepared begonia mix. Pot begonias with the top of each tuber level with the soil mix. Water and label.

Record plant and tree varieties in your notebook as you plant them. Tag and record the colors and types of bulbs that bloom for later reference after flowers have died.



Rake needles and leaves off lawns to prevent suffocation and mold. When weather conditions permit, aerate your lawn. Power rake if thatch is more than ½-inch deep.

Resist the urge to remove the mulch from spring-flowering plants such as daffodils and tulips. It can be loosened, but the shoots will still benefit from protection against cold, drying winds.

It is safe to uncover roses, azaleas, clematis vines and other shrubs from their mulch covers. Cut back winter-killed rose canes to one inch below the blackened area. Cut all rose canes to about six inches above ground level. You might consider planting some hardy roses this year to minimize winter damage.

If you have a rock garden, top dress it with a mixture of sand, loam, and coconut fiber. Early spring rains will wash the mixture into the soil and leave the rocks clean.

Fertilize rhododendrons, azaleas, roses and other ornamental trees and shrubs as well as fruit trees. Any standard lawn or garden fertilizer will do. Follow the recommendations on the fertilizer bag.

Late this month is a good time to spray trees and shrubs (except blue spruce) that are plagued by scale insects on branches, twigs and needles. Horticultural oil sprays help control scale and some mite problems.



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WSU Extension Spokane County , 222 N Havana, Spokane WA   99202-4799, 509-477-2048, Contact Us