March is when my garden really starts to wake up again. The vegetable garden has been going strong all winter, but the ornamentals are blooming again. Daffodils and crocus are putting on a show. Semi-evergreen plants like lungwort and farfugium and perking up. Japonica camellias continue to flower and, with the warm winter, flower buds on my azaleas are swelling and looking like they’re going to make an early break for it. Here’s what I’m focusing on this month.
Growing a Power Salad
Growing greens is so easy that sometimes I forget about all of the other delicious spring vegetables that make salads interesting. Not this year! In March I’m planting some quick-to-mature carrots, beets, turnips, and radishes to make my daily salads delicious. I always sow thickly because you never know whether cool soil will slow germination. Then, when it’s time to thin, I throw the small plants I pluck out into my salads. Want a truly delicious spring salad? Grow dill and incorporate some leaves into your spring mix.

There's still time to plant and enjoy parsley, lettuce, swiss chard, and other greens.

Plant carrot varieties that are quick to mature to enjoy a harvest before the weather heats up.

Planting Spring Containers
If your winter containers are looking a little ratty, windburned, and overgrown, you can freshen them up for spring. This is your chance to grow plants that need cooler weather without a hard freeze. We have a relatively short window to enjoy those, and this is it. Foxglove, stock, delphinium, alyssum, petunias, geraniums, and verbena are perfect container plants. They’ll grow March-May, and then you can swap again for heat lovers.

This container has some spring beauties like the geranium and the verbena that can be swapped out for hot weather lovers in May

Don’t limit yourself to pansies and violas. Stock is a fragrant spring bloomer that adds height to container gardens

Garden Cleanup and Planning
Most of the heavy lifting is done, in terms of garden cleanup. I’ve cut back the grasses, raked and composted the leaves, and pruned the shrub roses. Getting all of the junk out of the garden and into the compost pile allows me to see what I’m working with this year. Did the hellebores survive last summer’s jungle-like growth on top of them? Are there daffodils that need to be divided? Is it time to move the big loropetalums out of the front bed? (Yes. The answer has been yes for four years. Will I get to it? Maybe.) Now is the time to look at pictures from last season and make changes, before everything is huge and unwieldy. (Will I get to it? Maybe.)

My front garden, where everything is growing on top of everything.

This garden suffers from “one of everythingitis” right now.