Southeast Gardening Guide – Tips On What To Plant In March

Southeast Gardening Guide – Tips On What To Plant In March

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By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

The month of March is when the garden comes to life in many areas of the south. You’re likely itching to get on with spring planting and this is often the best time of year. If you’re in more southern parts of the southeast, some of these were possibly February chores.

No matter your specific location, the following applies to you. March is a great time to add annual flowers, some bedding plants, and summer blooming bulbs. Remember to plant appropriate shrubs, fruits, and vegetables.

When choosing the best time to plant various varieties this year, consider the weather forecast and the protection you’ll need to provide for seedlings and young plants. This aspect varies from year to year. Check the best planting dates as indicated by your favorite almanac. This can often be narrowed down by your zip code when checking online.

Planting Calendar for March

You can plant beans, tomatoes, squash, and corn in March, depending on your location in the southeast. While those in Florida might plant during the first week of the month, more northern gardeners can wait until the middle or even the end of the month. Take advantage of plants and seeds labeled for early or late crops to get even more specific.

Growing Herbs in the Southeast

Many herbs flourish when planted this month, including the popular ginger root. Plant an herb garden or take advantage of their aroma as pest control by growing them throughout the vegetable garden. For instance, Dill repels spider mites, aphids, the cabbage looper and squash bugs. Many herbs flower and can be planted in beds and borders with other blooms. In March, plant:

  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Borage

What to Plant in March

If cooler weather continues you still have time for leafy greens to produce a crop. These can even take a touch of frost. To avoid early bolting, plant seeds in morning sun and afternoon shade. Plant in succession and harvest at any stage of growth for interesting salad combinations and stir frys:

  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Leaf Lettuce (many varieties)

Some root crops do well in cooler temperatures, like beets, carrots and onions. Plant a second crop of turnips now and tasty radishes to include in your salads.

You can start these crops when temperatures are above freezing, which is March in many areas of the Southeast. Remember to side-dress with nitrogen rich compost or other organic fertilizer. Include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Corn (when soil temps reach 60 degrees F)
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas (Sugar Snaps like some cool weather)
  • Asparagus

Flower Planting Tips for Southeastern Gardeners

The southern garden wouldn’t be the same without a wealth of beautiful blooms. Your planting calendar for March provides many choices. It’s the perfect time for planting summer blooming bulbs, like dahlia, peacock lilies, and many others. Add exotic blooms in containers, like

  • Mandevilla
  • Verbena
  • Penta
  • Cuphea
  • Ruellia (wild petunia)
  • Heliotrope
  • Wax begonia

This article was last updated on

Read more about General Regional Gardening

March garden calendar

Timely advice on garden chores, fertilizing, pest control, and more from OSU Extension. These tips are not necessarily applicable to all areas of Oregon. For more information, contact your local Extension office.

Oregon State University Extension Service encourages sustainable gardening practices.

Practice preventive pest management rather than reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before acting, and opt for the least toxic approach. Conserve the predators and the parasitoids that feed on insect pests.

March can come in like a lamb and leave like a lion (or vice versa) in the Northeast. Pruning is one of the most important jobs to get done.

  • Prune shrubs that flower on new wood.
  • Trim back ornamental grass stalks to clear room for new growth.
  • Spray your fruit trees.
  • If you protected your evergreens with burlap during the winter, remove the burlap now.
  • Start spring cleaning in flower beds.
  • This is a tricky time for mulch. On the one hand, if frost heaves have exposed plant crowns and temperatures remain generally cold, you will want to apply mulch to protect them. On the other hand, if spring is early, you should remove enough mulch to let your perennials and spring bulb plants push up out of the ground unimpeded.


Learn—month by month—the necessary gardening activities for lawns and shrubs, annuals and perennials, fruit and nut trees, and bulbs, roots, and tubers. Included is a timeline for activities such as soil testing, planting, pruning, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, indoor plantings—from cauliflower to okra, from camellias to dahlias to heirloom roses.

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Related Articles

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