Ready, Set, Grow! March on Cape Cod

Ready, Set, Grow! March on Cape Cod

Truth?  On Cape Cod it’s not spring in March. Not even close. But no matter what Mother Nature is giving us outside, there are several things on the home-landscape and garden to-do list this month. Here is your March Checklist:

  • Cut down ornamental grasses anytime this month. At this point they are falling over and are less needed for bird-shelter anyway. It’s good to cut them down to about six to ten inches from the ground so that in the spring the new blades will grow into sunlight quickly.
  • Rake leaves away from early flowering perennials and bulbs. Even if you’ve cleaned up in the fall, the oak leaves continue to fall and blow around all winter. There are corners in your property where leaves have piled up in places where hellebores, crocus, and other early flowering plants will be hidden if they are not raked this month.
  • Prune your butterfly bush down to 12 to 18 inches tall. If you haven’t done this every year you’ll need a saw. If you do this regularly you can use some good, sharp loppers. (Note: for other pruning tips, attend our Pruning Demystified Class on April 7th. Advance registration by calling the store.) Don’t worry if the butterfly bush look “butchered” once you cut them down…they come back gangbusters in the spring and you’ll have flowers where you can see them.
  • Assemble your seed starting supplies in early March so that you can start your pepper and perennial seeds now, and the tomatoes in the middle of the month. You’ll need: Seed starting mix. Six packs or other containers. Trays to hold the containers. Lights if you’re starting indoors. A seed-heat mat if you’re starting seeds in a cooler location (below 72 degrees) such as a basement or sun-porch.

    Time to cut down your ornamental grasses


    If you rake out the beds where leaves have blown in, you’ll be able to see what pokes up and blooms this month.


    In mid to late March the butterfly bush will put out new shoots along the stems. These will grow into this year’s branches and at the end of those branches will be flowers.


    Gather your seed supplies now! Be sure you have clean pots or flats, fresh seed-starting mix, a heat mat, and lights if you don’t have a greenhouse.

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