Gardening Jobs to Do in March

Finally, temperatures are starting to climb after a season of constant cold. In the gardening month-by-month calendar, March is a hectic month for sowing seeds, as the gardening season usually kicks off around now. Of course, if you are on the other side of the planet, the Southern Hemisphere, read this March gardening jobs-to-do page as September — adding six months to any given date to coincide with Southern Hemisphere seasons.

With spring just around the corner, there are so many things to do in the garden in March. So much so that many new gardeners lose the plot and get overwhelmed, but having this action plan with you allows you to stay on track.

Regarding sowing seeds, it is essential to do just the sowing of each variety. Successional sowing is much better, but more on that later. Just know that most of your time this month will be spent sowing and potting on seedlings.

Each month’s Jobs-to-Do article has a common format, and this one is no different:

  • Garden preparation jobs to do.
  • Garden maintenance jobs.
  • Vegetable gardening jobs to do.
  • Fruit garden jobs to do.
  • Indoor and container gardening projects.
  • Ornamental garden jobs to do.
  • A summary of what gardeners should focus on.

Garden Preparation Jobs to Do in March

Marcg garden preparation tasks showing soil and a spade in a wagon.
March Garden Preparation Tasks

Preparation is of paramount importance this month. Planning is essential when you must stay on top of what needs doing and when. Missing timelines can mean the loss of opportunities.

Healthy soil requires a mix of minerals, organic matter, and living organisms. Test results help determine the right amendments for optimal vegetable garden results.

It is important to use only the recommended fertilizer amount based on the soil test results. Overusing phosphorous and nitrogen fertilizers can contaminate surface and groundwater, negatively impacting soil biota’s health and ultimately harming plants’ resilience and health.

Organic matter is also an important component of your soil as it is the “glue” holding all the soil components together, providing space for oxygen and good drainage. Organic matter includes composted animal manure, chopped-up leaves, grass clippings and cover crops. These are added to sandy soils to improve water-holding capacity and to clay soils to improve drainage.

Garden Maintenance Jobs for March

March maintenace jobs to do in the garden in March
March Garden Maintenance Jobs to Do

With spring just around the corner, you will want to finish many little tasks. Clean up areas that you still need to get to. Finish pruning back border plants and cleaning your tools, pots, and trays in preparation for all the sowing you are about to embark on.

Another task might be to consider building a hotbed. This consists of using pallets to make about a one cubic yard area that you then layer with horse manure and straw. Tread this down between layers and water it well.

Over the coming days, this should heat up nicely to a heat ideal for germinating the seed. Free heat is always good, and this can be done in a greenhouse, polytunnel, or even outside with a cover over the top like a cold frame.

Here are a few other jobs you might want to consider:

  • Build and install bird boxes, insect hotels, Hibernaculum, and hedgehog homes to attract more wildlife to the garden.
  • Hang sticky traps in the greenhouse or high tunnel.
  • Place out slug traps.
  • Remove any branches on trees showing signs of disease, like coral spots.
  • Encourage predator insects in the garden.
  • Remove dead leaves from overwintered strawberries.
  • Mulch Rhubarb beds.
  • Use row covers for continued frost protection.

Garden Ponds in March

This month you will see much growth in the garden ponds. Plants such as Lillies, Iris, and Gunnera will be putting on growth. As will the pondweed. Use this chance to pull out as much pondweed as possible and place it at the side of the pond to allow any insects to crawl back into the pond. Later this can be added to the compost bin.

Fish may start to feed on warmer days (if you have a fishpond). Add only a minimal amount of fresh water until the weather warms up. Likewise, you may begin to see frogs, toads, and newts spawn in your pond. Try to avoid disturbing them as much as possible until after they hatch.

Garden Pests and Challenges – March

With all the new spring growth just starting this month, the numbers of green, black, and whiteflies appear with the risk of expanding numbers. There are a few things you can do to help with this. But here are the two best.

Attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, dragonflies, parasitic wasps, lacewing larvae, rove beetles, and hoverflies by planting alyssum, calendula, dill, marigolds, nasturtiums, or sunflowers.

Pinch the tips of fast-growing plants such as Broad beans / Fava Beans. This will reduce the lush new foliage that aphids love so much.

Manage winter annual weeds – chickweed and dead nettle. The bane of many gardeners’ life ate the perennial dandelion – unless you actively remove or kill them, they’ll keep increasing annually.

Diseased wood on apples, pears, and other fireblight-affected plants should have been trimmed by the end of February. If it still needs to be finished, wait until mid-summer when the weather is dry. This time of year, pruning wounds may give entrance spots for the bacteria that caused the sickness.

Slugs in the Garden in March

Slugs are another major pest this time of the year. Thousands of them will have recently hatched, and the adults and young will be extremely hungry after such low food levels throughout winter.

When winter is relatively warm, slugs don’t get killed off, so their numbers are massive, and in years such as this, you will see increased damage to your tender young seedlings. There are several ways in which to tackle slugs in the garden, and below are just a few options open to the gardener:

  • Slug traps
  • Nematodes
  • Manual removal

Dealing with slugs can be a frustrating experience, even for seasoned gardeners. To help combat this pest and minimize their numbers before the start of the growing season, I’ve created a helpful video with various options.

Tony shows how to use a nematode soup to manage slugs in your garden

Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do in March

Vegetable gardening jobs to do in March showing a woman smelling herbs.
Vegetable gardening jobs to do in March

So, what should we be planting in the exciting month of March?

Vegetable Planting Guide – March

Globe artichokes: You can transplant in the second half of March as temperatures improve. Space plants about 30 inches (75 cm) apart; expect a harvest in about a year.

Jerusalem Artichokes: Tubes can be planted in late March, providing a harvest between September and November. Space plants 9 to 12 inches (23 – 30 cm) apart.

Arugula can be planted from seed throughout March and generally matures in 40 to 50 days.  Space 6 to 9 inches apart (15 to 23 cm). 

Asparagus: If you didn’t plant in February, you can still plant asparagus crows throughout March and expect a harvest in about two years. Space plants about 18 inches (45 cm) apart.

Snap or bush beans and field peas: Wait for the risk of frost to pass, so plant your first seeds in late March for a harvest about 7 to 8 weeks later. Stagger planting for a continuous supply. Vining and bush peas can be planted earlier in the month.

Beet seeds can be planted throughout March. Space plants about two inches apart and thin them as they grow. Beets take about 7 to 8 weeks to mature.

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens can be transplanted throughout March. Two other Brassica family members, kale and kohlrabi, can be transplanted or planted from seed directly into the garden throughout March. Wait for later in the month before planting Chinese cabbage. See the Brassica options below—the days are the days to maturity.

PlantSeed Planting
Days to Maturity
Days to Maturity
March TimingSeed or Transplant
Broccoli70 to 80MarchTransplant
Cabbage90 to 12063 to 75MarchTransplant
Cabbage, Chinese75 to 8545 to 55Late MarchSeed or transplant
Cauliflower85 to 9555 to 65MarchSeed or transplant
Collard greens60 to 10032 to 72MarchTransplant
Kale40 to 5014 to 22MarchSeed or transplant
Kohlrabi50 to 6022 to 32MarchSeed or transplant
Mustard30 to 40MarchSeed
Bok Choy45 to 9030 to 75Late MarchTransplant
Radishes20 to 25MarchSeed
Rutabaga70 to 80MarchSeed
Turnips55 to 60MarchSeed
March Vegetable Planting Plan

Carrots can be sown in situ throughout March and, depending on the variety, will be harvestable in about 10 to 11 weeks.

Celery: Weather permitting, you can transplant celery throughout March. Space plants 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart. Transplants take about 40 to 70 days to mature and 120 to 150 days from seed planting.

Cilantro / Coriander can be sown throughout March. Coriander herbs can be harvested throughout the plant’s life, and the spice (cilantro) after 50 to 55 days when this annual seeds. Space plants 2 to 4 inches (5 – 10 cm) apart.

Dill is another annual herb that can be planted from seed in late March. Spacing should be 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm), and harvesting can be done throughout, with seeds appearing in 40 to 55 days.

Our third herb, Florence fennel, can be planted from seed, spaced 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm), throughout March.

Plant leek from seed or as a transplant throughout March spaced four inches (10 cm) apart. Seed plantings take between 120 and 150 days, and transplants—50 to 80 days to mature.

March is ideal for lettuce planting, either as seed or transplants. Space leaf lettuce 6 inches (15 cm) apart and head lettuce 10 inches (25 cm). Head lettuce varieties take 70 to 85 days to harvest from seed and 45 to 60 from transplant planting. Leaf lettuce can be harvested two weeks after planting seedlings lasting about a month. Succession planting helps ensure a continuous crop. Leaf lettuce takes 40 to 50 days from seed to mature.

Onions can be planted as seeds or sets throughout March. Bulb onions take about three months from seed, and green onions two.

Plant parsley or mint in containers as they can be invasive. Plant from seed or transplants throughout March.

For successful growth, parsnips require deep and well-drained soil, like carrots. The ideal soil temperature for seed germination ranges from 50°F to 70°F. However, it may take up to three weeks or more for the seeds to germinate, even at these temperatures.

Plant seed potatoes throughout March, spacing them about 10 inches (25 cm) apart. Expect a harvest in 95 to 120 days, depending on the Irish potato variety.

Spinach is one of the hardiest crops and can withstand some cold. Space about 6 inches (15 cm) apart and start harvesting as the leaves mature. If temperatures permit, spinach and Swiss chard can be grown as annuals.

Sunflowers can be planted in late March and should be spaced 9 to 24 inches (23 to 60 cm) apart, depending on the variety. Sunflower matures about 55 to 110 days after seed planting.

Sweet corn is a summer crop and should only be planted when soil temperatures have heated to above 66 °F (19 °C).

In cooler regions where the first frost-free days are in the first week of May, you can plant seeds for the following vegetables indoors — preferably in the last week of March:

  • Nightshade Family: Eggplants, Peppers, Tomatoes, Potatoes
  • Head Lettuce — hardier than leaf lettuce
  • Brassica Family: Broccoli, Cabbages, Cauliflower
  • Celery

Fruit Garden Jobs to Do in March

March fruit gardening jobs to do include helping to pollinate flowers.
March Fruit Gardening Jobs to Do

By now, all the pruning will have been completed, and most trees will break their buds and put on leaf or flower growth. The first flower would be things like Cherry, Apricot, Nectarine, and Peach, and with few insects and bees around due to the cold weather, pollination falls to the gardener.

Take a clean child’s paintbrush and rub the pollen from one flower to the next to mimic the bees’ actions. It is important to note that you should use a different brush for each species of tree, but ok to use the same across all your cherries, for instance.

Container Gardening Projects for March

March Indoor and Container Gardening Projects showing Tony demonstrating how to plant potatoes in containers.
March Indoor and Container Gardening Projects

Grow potatoes in containers for limited space or unfavorable soil conditions. Cover stems with potting soil as the plant grows to encourage deeper root growth. This method works for most root crops and vegetables.

Container selection is paramount to your success when growing potatoes in containers. Pots and planters come in various colors, shapes, sizes, designs, and materials. I prefer the 8-gallon (32 liters) durable plastic bins for growing potatoes.


Choose a pot with good drainage for potato growth. Holes in the bottom are ideal, or you can make them yourself. Avoid containers without holes to prevent excess water buildup and rotting potatoes.

Best Soil for Container Potatoes

To ensure your high-yielding vegetables thrive in pots, it’s essential to use top-notch potting soil. The rich, nutritious, well-draining soil enables plants to access vital nutrients and retain ample moisture. For potatoes, a soil pH level of 5.0-5.2 is optimal.

Light & Temperature Requirements for Growing Potatoes In Containers

Potatoes grow best at around 65 to 70°F (18 to 21°C). Potatoes thrive in full sunlight, but it’s important not to let them overheat with excessive direct sunlight if planted in containers.

Planting Potatoes in Containers

To start planting your potatoes, wait until about two weeks after the last frost date in your region. Begin by preparing a large container and high-quality potting mix.

First, fill the bottom of the container with 4 to 6 inches of potting soil. Then, place the seed potato into the ground and cover it with dirt.

As the seed potato sprouts and produces green shoots, add more dirt. Repeat this process by adding soil when you see more signs of growth, covering the stem until the whole container is filled.

If desired, you can layer in a slow-release organic fertilizer. Additionally, add mulch to the top layer of the container around the base of the plant.

Be sure to water the potato plant regularly to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Once the potato plant has grown past the container’s top edge, continue to water regularly and ensure it receives plenty of sunlight.

Ornamental Garden Jobs to Do in March

March ornamental gardening jobs to do includes flower starting.
March Ornamental Garden Jobs to Do

March Lawn Care Jobs to Do

Hurray for March – the start of your lawn care calendar. With new growth after dormancy, you will be giving that first cut – never more than a third of the length of a grass blade off per cut. If your lawn has moss from winter wetness, control it early with a moss killer. Moss spores spread rapidly as dying moss leaves black patches.

Once the snow has melted and the soil has had a chance to dry somewhat, rake lawns to remove debris and dead grass. Raking helps prevent snow mold and other fungal grass problems by boosting air circulation and removing trapped moisture.

Adjust nutrient and pH levels informed by the soil tests taken in January.

March Flower Gardening Jobs to Do

The following list is things that can be planted out in the garden in the month of March:

When azaleas have completed blooming, prune them to minimize their size and improve their shape. When the dormant season ends and new growth begins, prune shrubs and trees. Fertilize palms, azaleas, camellias, and other attractive bushes. Choose a fertilizer with a slow-release nitrogen content of at least 30%.

March Flowers Planting Plan

Planting Timing
in March
AgastachePerennialStart IndoorsMarch
AlyssumAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
AsclepiasPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
AuriniaPerennialStart IndoorsLate March
California PoppiesPerennialPlantMarch
ColumbinePerennialStart IndoorsEarly March
CornflowersAnnualPlantLate March
CynoglossumBiennialStart IndoorsEarly March
DelphiniumAnnualStart IndoorsEarly March
DianthusPerennialTransplantLate March
EchinaceaPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
GaillardiaPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
GauraAnnualStart IndoorsEarly March
GypsophilaAnnualPlantLate March
HeleniumPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
HollyhockPerennialStart IndoorsEarly March
IberisAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
LobeliaAnnualStart IndoorsLate March
LunariaBiennialPlantLate March
LupinPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
MarigoldsAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
Morning GloryAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
NemophilaAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
NicotianaAnnualStart IndoorsEarly March
NigellaAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
OenotheraAnnualPlantLate March
PhysalisAnnualStart IndoorsEarly March
RatibidaPerennialStart IndoorsEarly March
RosePerennialStart IndoorsEarly March
RudbeckiaPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
SaponariaPerennialPlantLate March
Sweet PeasAnnualStart IndoorsEarly March
TithoniaAnnualStart IndoorsEarly March
VeronicaPerennialStart IndoorsEarly March
ViolaAnnualStart IndoorsMarch
WallflowerAnnualPlantLate March
YarrowPerennialStart IndoorsMarch
March Flowers Planting Plan

A Summary of What Gardeners Should Focus on in March

March garden focus areas includes getting plants started. A display of fresh blooms.
March Garden Focus Areas

We covered March’s main garden preparation jobs, including planning and soil preparation. March has fewer garden maintenance jobs, mainly because we focus on new beginnings.

For vegetable growers, March is the month of great expectations. Vegetable gardening jobs in March include getting seed into the ground indoors or directly into the garden if soil temperatures permit. Always check soil temperatures before planting.

As most fruit trees start budding, March fruit garden jobs include supporting pollinators.

Indoor and container gardening projects, including a review of growing potatoes in containers, which is one of my favorite challenges.

Flower garden jobs include choosing from the 47 plants listed to add splashes of color to your garden. Spring is soon sprung, and now is the time to prepare for your bright entry into the main growing season.

I wish you every gardening success.



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