Top 6 March Must-Do’s

gillnurseryBest Practices, Timely Tips47 Comments

If you’re like us, you cannot wait to get outside and get gardening! The cool, damp weather has hung around too long, but there’s lots to do in preparation for blue skies ahead. Here’s what you need to get done this month.

Check out our March Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures & wind!

1. Wrap Up Your Clean-Up

If you still have pruning and clean-up to do, there’s still a little time! Cool temps have delayed the burst of Spring growth a bit. Overwintered perennials like Lantana, Salvias, and Roses need pruning now – cut them back up to 50%. 

2. Plant Your Fruits and Veggies

It’s time! We are thrilled to have a big healthy selection of Spring veggies and fruit trees this year. We haven’t seen peach and plum trees this nice in several seasons.  One thing we recommend for all plantings, including veggies and fruit trees, is Nature’s Blend compost – the closest thing we’ve seen to ‘magic in a bag’! One bag can amend about 12 sq ft of clay or sandy soil.

3. Bring Back the Birds, Bees, and Butterflies!

Now is a great time to incorporate plants into your garden that attract & feed the birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. They need your help finding food and shelter, and you need their help pollinating your blooming plants, increasing your veggie production, and eating bad bugs. Bees are drawn to most anything with a bloom but some fav’s are Gregg’s Mist Flower, Esperanza, & Lantana. Butterflies love Butterfly Weed, Salvias, & Mexican Flame Vine. Native plants like Turks Cap produce berries for birds, and Hummers love Duranta, Mexican Honeysuckle, & lots more!

4. Feed New Plants Now, Established Plants Soon 

New plantings need a good start with a good organic plant food. We love BioTonePlantTone, and Hastagro. Add BioTone to your soil when you plant, then use PlantTone once a month and supplement with Hastagro about every 2 weeks to continue feeding throughout the season. For established plants, wait to feed until they are actively growing – typically mid/late March or early April. 

5. Flowers for Right Now

Nothing says Spring like planting flowers! The best choices this month are Petunias, Marigolds, Begonias, and Geraniums. These love the warm days and cool nights of our early Spring. Popular late Spring/Summer flowers like Vinca, Moss Rose, and Zinnias will start to arrive in April as temps stay warmer. 

6. Apply Pre-emergent Now + Wait to Fertilize Lawns

Lawns are still mostly dormant and not yet actively growing. Now is the time to apply pre-emergent weed control before the weeds start growing. We recommend Dura Turf Crab Grass and Weed Preventer. Hold off on watering – water once a week at most, depending on rain. And wait to fertilize lawns until you see enough growth to mow your lawn regularly, typically late March/early April. We recommend Medina Growin’ Green or Gill Lawn and Garden Food

Check out our March Garden Guide for more tips!


47 Comments on “Top 6 March Must-Do’s”

  1. I wish I had tomatos ands other vegetables, but I don’t. I blow the oak leaves off the deck and lawn and under my shrubs for a great moisture retaining, weed preventing mulch.

  2. Do you have anything that I can spray on Oak trees before cocoons & caterpillars start invading? These are from the moths. I’ve already seen some moths.

    Thank you
    IRENE S Amador

    1. Here is what I think is the safest method. Watch for caterpillar poop balls on concrete or decks, and when you first see them, spray trees in the evening with a Bacillus thuringiensis product. Come in to the nursery and they will fix you up. It will kill caterpillars that feed on the treated leaves, while not hurting you or birds feeding on the caterpillars, or cats, dogs, lizards, etc.

    1. If they are still actively feeding, you can spray Thuricide on the foliage, and when they get a bite, they can eat more and die. Advantage that Thuricide will not harm any other organism such as beneficial insects, lizards, birds, etc. But if they have stopped eating, and are moving to more protected areas to pupate, the best option is Spinosad.

  3. Thank you for the quality of your services, tips and products, but I must say that I am very disappointed that you don’t leave it up to your clients to choose for themselves to wear a mask or not.

    1. I’m sure you know we are as anxious as everyone to be free of masks. As managers, we believe it is our responsibility to keep our staff and our customers as safe as possible. We are following the guidelines given by the health experts. Sally Gill

  4. Which health experts? The ones who are censored, or the ones who are doing the censoring.

    Throughout history, can you think of a time when those who censor and silence people have been on the good side?

    1. Thank you Gill’s Nursery for prioritizing the health of others. For those that feel oppressed by exercising the bare minimum of effort necessary to be a decent human being and contribute to decreasing the spread of a deadly virus – bless your heart. If you are unable to navigate the science supporting the wearing of masks – the education system failed you. I’m guessing you are going to lose your minds over HEB’s decision to require masks.

    1. I think bougainvillea in pots are likely dead. Bougainvillea in the ground should come up from the ground, cut back totally.

  5. James, how do we know if our Norfolk pines are dead from the freeze or not? they have turned brown all over; are they toast or might they have survived? to be honest with you, I’m not a fan of them, just would like to know if I need to cut them down now because of the special pick up by the City

  6. My guess is all oleanders will need to be pruned to the ground, and that there will also be a high demand for St. Augustine due to freeze loss. Regarding St. Augustine, are there any new varieties that you recommend? What about carpetgrass or zoysia for this area of Texas?

    1. I have seen many oleanders dead close to the ground, and only 1 that still showed life a few feet up. So mostly prune to 12″. No new varieties of St. Augustine, but most St. Augustine lawns are not having any loss to freeze, should look about the same in April as they did last fall. Just need the soil to warm up for green up. Do not start regular watering until then. Carpetgrass is a no, zoysia is a yes.

  7. My beautiful Passion flower vine bloomed until a week or so before the freeze. Afterwards it was totally brown and appeared dead. I cut the vines back to about 2 feet. I haven’t seen any signs of life yet. Any chance it survived? If not, do you have any? I really miss it.

    1. You will not see any growth off that 2 feet of stem above ground, but I expect you will get healthy growth from the root system once the soil warms adequately.

  8. Thanks for the tips on what and how far to cut back. What about my icons? Same as plumbago, cut back to the ground?

    1. How about your eggs Ora? Yeah, Siri gives me fits! Sad to say, I haven’t seen any ixora growing back from the roots, like most tropical shrubs are. Hopefully yours will be the exception.

  9. My bauhinia orchid tree , which was just getting ready to bloom, took a hard hit from the frost. I see some cracking &oozing on the tree and the leaves and thin branches are all brown & dry. Can it be saved?

    1. My guess is you will need to cut it off at the ground, and it will probably regrow from the root.

  10. What perennial flowering plants do you recommend for pots that get full sun in the morning? My deck on the canal faces south east. All my flowering plants in the pots died in the freeze. I want to plant those that will flourish in the salt air, and full sun.

    1. Drop a Samba portulaca hanging basket into a pot, and you’ve got a winner. Lantana is good also, grows native on the island.

    1. Yes, after the cold weather event this weekend, you could cut back as far as you want. They will regrow from ground level or wherever you decide to cut them back.

  11. I was wondering about bananas also – the leaves are all brown but they are alive inside. If I want them to grow fruit, should I cut them to the ground or let them sprout from last year’s trunks?

  12. I always remember what James and Michael Womack preach—-Don’t get in to much of a hurry to cut down or dig up frozen (maybe) plants. Most of the frozen material in my yard didn’t come back until August or September, even my ixoria.

  13. I love your nursery. I also have first hand experience with Wyatt before he got his award. He was so helpful and nice.
    Hats off to you guys for asking people to wear masks. I work in a doctors office and have been wearing a mask daily for a while, surprise, surprise I’m still me and still standing and breathing. Been fully vaccinated but I think it’s a courtesy to wear my mask out in public. It’s a simple, easy thing and if there’s any chance it helps stop the spread I’m happy to be a part of the solution. Certainly glad that way back when they got the vaccine for measles, mumps, etc people had more sense apparently and wanted to take care of the kids.

  14. Thanks to all at Gills. Jesse instantly returned my message and educated me on nematodes. Great way to eliminate grubs and save the earthworms.

  15. Thanks to all at Gills. Jesse instantly returned my message and educated me on nematodes. Great way to eliminate grubs and save the earthworms.

    1. Hi Ann – could be a number of different issues, including not enough water and/or not enough nutrients (fertilizer). Or it could just be a deformity in the leaf due to high wind when it was forming. You could trim these off, fertilize with organic Citrus Tone, and adjust your watering. Make sure you’ve got a nice layer of mulch as well to help retain moisture. Here’s a link to an article with more possible causes:,(5%20to%2010%20cm.)

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