This is the best month for pruning fruit trees. The important trimming consists in removing broken or dead branches and those which rub against each other. Set out orchard trees and small fruits as early as possible. Apply dormant spray to trees and shrubs.
Prune shrubs in the month of March if they do not flower until late Summer. Hardy roses can be pruned in March, but most rose pruning should be done a few weeks before the last frost date, which is about May 20.
The best time to plant roses is very early in the Spring. Dormant roses will produce a large crop of flowers the first season if carefully planted. Mound earth all over them until growth starts.
Hardy chrysanthemums and most other late-flowering perennials may be divided when they start to grow. Have the beds ready, so that they may be replanted as soon as the divisions are made. Chrysanthemums need dividing each spring.
The garden perennials will benefit from an early feeding of four pounds of complete fertilizer per 100 square feet. This fertilizer can be broadcast among the plants before the frost leaves the soil.
Depending on rain and frosts, some garden work may be begun this month. It is important, however, not to till or spade the soil until it is dry enough to fall apart slowly when a little is squeezed in the hand. If it remains in a lump it is not dry enough.
As soon as planting conditions are right, it is safe to sow the following vegetables outside where they are to grow: peas, parsnips, spinach, carrots, lettuce, parsley, radishes, and salsify. Start late cabbage and cauliflower seeds in a cold-frame or in a seed bed outside, where the season is far enough along.
Plant potatoes after the 20th. The 20th is a good time to start warm weather crops in the house that need about 2 months to grow before being set out. These include garden favorites like eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. [If you have the use of a greenhouse, March 20 is rather early to start tender vegetables unless the greenhouse is heated and you want to grow really big plants before setting them out.] Beets and chard are suitable for sowing directly in the garden during the last week of March.
Remove the mulches from snowdrops and crocuses so that the shoots can come through. Tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs should be kept lightly covered to keep the sun off the plants as long as they are frozen.
Set out pansy plants as soon as the ground is ready. They will flower continuously if the blossoms are kept picked. Sweet peas should be planted immediately, if the ground is ready. Seed them two inches deep in trenches and fill the trenches gradually as the plants grow. Manure under them is useful.
Seeds of larkspur, poppy, alyssum, calendula, snapdragon, and stock can be sown directly in the garden if the soil is ready. Annuals which may be started in the house about the middle of the month include Phlox drummondi, cosmos, asters, snapdragons, salpiglossis, zinnias, verbenas, ageratums, salvia, scabiosa, nicotiana, stock, annual gaillardia, and the annual chrysanthemums, moonflowers, and Japanese morning-glories.
Before the press of spring work gets too heavy, repair all fences, arbors, lattice work, and garden furniture. Repainting should be done before the vines start to grow.
Lawn work should be done early to be most effective. First rake the lawn with an iron rake; then feed it with a lawn fertilizer. Reseed old lawns as soon as possible. Roll when the soil is slightly moist but not wet enough to pack down.
Courtesy of Edward Farrington

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