Gardening Tips for March for Santa Rosa, CA

Northwest Region

  • As soon as the soil is workable, add in manure or compost to prepare your garden for planting.
  • Did you test your soil? Make any necessary amendments, based on the results of your soil analysis.
  • The tomato season in the Northwest is about 120 days. Consider seeding indoors! You’ll want to seed at least 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting in late May (after hardening off plants).
  • Got compost? Check your compost bin, and you should have new material for spring mulching.
  • Plant trees and shrubs while it’s still cool and wet. Apply a mix of compost and mulch in the planting hole AND all around the plants to preserve water and feed the roots. Just keep mulch away from the base/bark to avoid pests.
  • Now is the time to plant more berry plants; consider planting disease-resistant varieties.
  • Spray trees and shrubs to prevent predatory insects and diseases.
  • Apply compost over your garden and landscape areas to help improve the soil. Mix 2 to 3 inches into new beds or 1 inch into established beds.
  • Spread 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch (course ground bark or wood chips) to keep weeds from germinating.
  • If soil temperature is above 40 degrees and dry enough, you may be able to plant cool-season crops, such as carrots, beets, broccoli, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, and spinach.
  • If you have transplants in the yard, be sure to protect them from any late spring frosts with a cover.
  • Divide hosta, daylilies, and mums.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses a few inches above the ground.
  • Prune your houseplants after they have finished blooming. Remember to fertilize and water them as well.
  • Remove leaves from your lawn to prevent any diseases.
  • Improve your lawn soil and turf! Core aerate, overseed, and top-dress with 1/4 inch of compost.
  • Mow your lawn to about 2 inches in height to help feed the roots and cut out weeds.
  • Fertilize your shrubs and trees if they need it. If they are established and healthy, this may not be necessary.
  • Test your hoses and sprinklers to make sure that they work.
  • Asparagus and rhubarb plants can be planted as soon as the soil is workable.
  • Consider building raised beds if you have drainage problems or want to help warm the soil more quickly for a jump-start on gardening.