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Missouri Environment & Garden


Missouri Botanical Garden

March Gardening Calendar

Missouri Botanical Garden

Published: February 1, 2012


  • Weeks 1-4: Two handsome houseplants that provide fragrant blossoms indoors this month are the Confederate Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and Japanese Pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira). Both thrive in average home conditions and are easy plants to grow.
  • Weeks 1-4: As day lengths increase, plants begin new growth. Repot root bound plants, moving them to containers 2 inches larger in diameter than their current pot. Check for insect activity and apply controls as needed. Leggy plants may be pruned now.


  • Weeks 1-4: Trees, shrubs and perennials may be planted as soon as they become available at local nurseries.
  • Weeks 1-4: To control Iris borer, clean up and destroy the old foliage before new growth begins.
  • Weeks 1-4: Loosen winter mulches from perennials cautiously. Re-cover plants at night if frost returns. Clean up beds by removing all weeds and dead foliage at this time.
  • Weeks 1-2: Heavy pruning of trees should be complete before growth occurs. Trees should not be pruned while the new leaves are growing.
  • Weeks 3-4: Ornamental grasses should be cut to the ground just as the new growth begins.


  • Weeks 1-4: Mow lawns low to remove old growth before new growth begins.
  • Weeks 2-4: Apply broadleaf herbicides now for control of cool-season perennial and annual weeds. These must not be applied to areas that will be seeded soon.
  • Weeks 2-4: Apply controls for wild garlic. It will take several years of annual applications for complete control.
  • Weeks 3-4: Thin spots and bare patches in the lawn can be over seeded now.


  • Weeks 1-4: Any root crops such as horseradish, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, or carrots still in the ground from last year should be harvested before new green top growth appears.
  • Weeks 1-4: Fertilize the garden as the soil is being prepared for planting. Unless directed otherwise by a soil test, 1 to 2 pounds of 12-12-12 or an equivalent fertilizer per 100 square feet is usually sufficient.
  • Weeks 1-2: Delay planting if the garden soil is too wet. When a ball of soil crumbles easily after being squeezed together in your hand, it is dry enough to be safely worked.
  • Weeks 2-4: Plant peas, lettuce, radishes, kohlrabi, mustard greens, collards, turnips, Irish potatoes, spinach and onions (seeds and sets) outdoors.


  • Weeks 1-4: Gradually remove mulch from strawberries as the weather begins to warm.
  • Weeks 1-3: Continue pruning apple trees. Burn or destroy all prunings to minimize insect or disease occurrence.
  • Weeks 3-4: Aphids begin to hatch on fruit trees as the buds begin to open.
  • Weeks 3-4: Apply dormant oil sprays now. Choose a dry day when freezing temperatures are not expected.
  • Weeks 3-4: Spray peach trees with a fungicide for the control of peach leaf curl disease.
  • Week 4: Mulch all bramble fruits for weed control.
  • Week 4: Peaches and nectarines should be pruned just before they bloom.

Gardening Calendar supplied by the staff of the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening located at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri. (www.GardeningHelp.org)

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REVISED: May 29, 2012