Now it’s time to start your Planting! After consulting my library, I’ve identified ninety-three little things that will lead to the easiest and best preparation for a beautiful and green year for you and your yard. I’ve divided them into six categories for you:
If you’d like more planting information, I’ve added links to as many of the plant names and terms as I could, so that should help. I also want to thank the authors of the following books which helped me put these items together:
Month by Month Gardening in Georgia by Walter Reeves & Erica Glasener
Taylor’s Guide to Gardening in the South edited by Rita Buchanan and Roger Holmes
Backyard Secrets of Garden Experts by Leslie Garisto
Ready? Let’s get started!
- There’s still time to start seeds of annuals indoors. If you like fragrance, several old-fashioned varieties add spicy scents to your garden. Try planting Stock, Sweet Alyssum, Sweetpea, Nicotiana, and Annual Phlox drummondii. Here in North Georgia (Actually, North Middle Georgia), you don’t expect every plant from last year to survive the winter. Now’s the time to try something different if you weren’t satisfied with the plan last year. I recommend 3-inch or larger potted plants in an established garden. Smaller plants will be overwhelmed by your established plants.
- In south Georgia, plant cool-season annuals from six-packs as they become available at garden centers. Viola, Snapdragon, Pansy, Sweet William, and English Daisy will bloom in your landscaping for the next six weeks or longer.
- In case you can’t find the annual seeds you want to plant at your local garden center, you may have time to buy online. Here are some links to some well-established seed catalogs. Park Seed, Seeds of Change, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Burpees.
- You can start Caladium tubers in pots indoors. Tuberose can be started indoors as well as planted outside when soil temperatures warm up.
- You can plant Beets, Cauliflower, Mustard, Radish, and Turnip seeds outdoors.
- Plant Strawberries as soon as they become available at your local nursery.
- March is a good time to check your houseplants for root bound. Spread a newspaper under a handy chair or kitchen counter. Flip the pot upside down and place an edge on the chair seat or counter. Strike the pot bottom sharply with your palm and lower the root ball from the pot. If it’s tightly bound, cut the roots and pull open the ball so it will have more open area. Replant it in a larger pot with clean potting soil. Water well (twice).
- Aerate fescue lawns and overseed them if the grass is thin. Wait until soil temperatures are warm as specified above.
- Lay fescue sod.
- When you purchase perennials, remember that you’re investing in a root system. If you start with a weak plant, it will take twice as long as a strong healthy plant before you can expect a big flowering show, as the plant will put all its energy into developing a strong root system. When you ease a root ball out of the pot, you should see fleshy roots covering at least 50% of the soil. If they are dried out and brittle, or if there are only a few, this indicates a weak root system.
- This is the time to plant bare root perennials, while temperatures are mild and many plants are still dormant.
- Perennials with lots of fibrous roots can be done up with a spade or a shovel. Get a big clump, more roots are better than fewer roots.
- Gently pull apart the roots by hand. Cut off any damaged or dead roots.
- Replant the divisions immediately.
- Water and apply a 2-inch layer of mulch.
- If the nearby tree has begun to shade your rose bed, you can either remove the tree or move your roses. Most gardeners prefer the latter.