Top 5 Must Do’s for March!

gillnurseryBest Practices, Timely Tips37 Comments

This is not our typical March! Our gardens and landscapes were shocked by the Big Freeze – a major bump in the road, but now we can finish cleaning up and really get going. Check out our top must-do’s for March, including more about pruning, what to feed, and how to help local wildlife.

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. Make Way For New Growth
Watch our video on the basics of pruning after the freeze.

Be sure to get your post-freeze pruning and cleanup done ASAP. The key is to remove the dead/damaged material before new growth starts. Some plants (like this variegated ginger) have already started re-emerging! Check out our videos on the basics of pruning, how to save philodendrons, and how to assess palms. Also – the City of Corpus Christi is doing a special brush pick-up starting March 8 – very helpful!

2. Renew Your Food Garden

Now that we’re past freezing weather, we can get serious about food gardening again.  Gotta plant tomatoes now! Tomatoes like warm days & need cool nights. Most varieties need at least 65-75 days to have mature fruit. That puts it into May and temps are on the rise. There’s plenty of other food to plant now. Peppers, Squash, Basil, Okra, Beans, Melons, Eggplant just to name a few.

3. Feed New Plantings

Lots of us are replacing plants or starting fresh after the freeze. You don’t want to feed your lawn or established plants yet, but any new plants need a good start with a good organic plant food.  We love BioTone, PlantTone, and Hastagro. Add BioTone to your soil when you plant, then use PlantTone or Hastagro to continue feeding throughout the season.

4. Be Patient with Lawns & Recovery 

Lawns look like they’re dead, but we are already seeing signs of new growth. They still need time to recover from last months freeze. This means hold off on watering – water once a week at most. And wait to fertilize lawns until you see enough growth to mow your lawn, typically late March/early April. Same goes for plants that had to be heavily cut back due to cold damage. Hand water only as needed and wait to feed them until you begin to see new growth.

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

Cold damaged plants around town not only look bad to us but cannot provide food for area wildlife. Now is a great time to plant pollinizers and other plants that attract & feed the birds. 

Bees are drawn to most anything with a bloom but some fav’s are Mist Flower, Esperanza, & Lantana. Butterflies love Butterfly Weed, Lantana, & Mexican Flame Vine. Native plants like Turks Cap produce berries for birds & Hummers love Duranta, Mexican Honeysuckle, & lots more!

Check out our March Garden Guide for more tips!


37 Comments on “Top 5 Must Do’s for March!”

  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.

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