March – the Month to Get Gardening!
By Jill Johnson, VCE Loudoun County Master Gardener
Daffodils and crocus are coming up and March looks promising even though the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Saint Patrick’s Day on the 17th is a traditional date to plant peas but last year on that date we had one of the heaviest snows of the winter, so you never know. At any rate, garden soil needs to be crumbly and workable before you plant peas, not wet and frigid. Peas will germinate as soon as the soil warms to 50 degrees. I will plant my favorite heirloom Mammoth Melting Sugar snow peas again this year, and will do a better job of providing adequate trellising to support the 6 foot plus vines.
I’ll pick the first nice day this month to get serious about garden clean-up. I didn’t cut back my perennials in the fall, so that’s on my to-do list, as well as cutting down ornamental grasses, and cleaning up dead leaves from hellebores and epimediums. You can divide perennials now if the ground is dry enough. Just think, free plants if you do the work. Yank those nasty perennial weeds like garlic mustard and henbit and the annuals like chickweed, bittercress and deadnettle.
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