The Gardening Madness March Brings

The Gardening Madness March Brings

While getting a jump on the spring spruce-up for your landscape is a great idea, there are some garden tasks that are better left until April.

March is easily the month when San Antonians get bitten by the gardening bug and crave being outdoors.

While getting a jump on the spring spruce-up for your landscape is a great idea, there are some garden tasks that are better left until April. So here’s a short list of do’s and don’ts until then.

In March, do:

  • Aerate your lawns with a core aerator.
  • Apply high quality screened compost to your lawn and beds.
  • Prune perennials to between three inches and six inches above ground.
  • Prune roses back by one third.
  • Apply a fungicide (garlic solution, neem oil, daconil) to rose stems and remaining leaves.
  • Prune citrus back by one third.
  • Apply dormant oil or neem oil to fruit trees and pecan trees (this is your last opportunity to do this). Do so at dusk.
  • Mow groundcovers like Asiatic jasmine and leadwort (aka dwarf plumbago) at the mower’s highest setting. Second mowing is in July.
  • Make sure the mower blades are sharp for summer mowing time.
  • Paint all fresh wounds on oaks within 25 minutes.

But don’t:

  • Apply any lawn fertilizer, especially “weed and feed” products. Weed and feed fertilizers are wasteful for weeds and lawns are still dormant.
  • Top crape myrtles! Topping is detrimental to tree health and longevity.
  • Plant warm season annuals like impatiens, begonias, coleus, zinnias.
  • Prune oak trees if at all possible.
  • Water the lawn weekly.
  • Indiscriminately kill caterpillars. Baby birds have to have something to eat.

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Mark Peterson

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Mark Peterson

Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.