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What to Plant in March: Vegetables, Flowers, Herbs and Fruits

As the glow of spring gets closer, March is a pivotal month for starting vegetable, herb, fruit, and flower seeds to transplant after the last expected frost. Gardeners should use their USDA Hardiness Zone along with local frost dates and this gardening guide to determine what seeds can directly be sown outdoors in March and which should start inside on sunny windowsills first before safely moving seedlings to the garden weeks later. I summarize this key information so you know what to plant in March, what seeds to start in March, my gardening tips before planting, and the to-do checklist I use every year with my husband, Henry, before starting a glorious growing season. Spring is just around the corner, so hurry up!

Gardening Tips Before Plant in March

When starting seeds to plant in March, I recommend paying close attention to which ones can be directly sown outdoors versus needing indoor germination and hardening off first. That is one of the most common mistakes when gardening. Not all seeds thrive if planted straight into the garden bed.

I know sometimes, deciding what type of seeds to buy can seem overwhelming. Here is one of my recent posts about the difference between heirloom and hybrid seeds, which I’m sure will help you to decide. If you are a beginner, I suggest reading our guide before sowing to learn the process of starting seeds indoors.

Here we go with my gardening tip number 2. Before selecting vegetable varieties, flowers, and fruit plants, note each crop’s preferred sunlight or shade exposure, as I try to capture and summarize for you in this article. Some do best in full sun, while others appreciate partial shade.

Also, I encourage gardeners to verify the growing zone, as there is a new USDA hardiness zone map, and always check the forecast when sowing and planting outside.

When gardening in limited space, opt for dwarf, patio, or compact fruit and vegetable varieties suitable for pot and container growing. Prioritize plants according to your site’s unique sunlight, drainage, and size of accommodation.

With careful planning and plant selection, gardens of all sizes can successfully grow thriving produce and ornamentals. I aimed to convey your main points about choosing appropriate seeds and varieties according to light exposure, space available, and microclimate factors.

After saying that, let’s see what herbs, fruits, flowers, and vegetables to plant in March, zone by zone.

Herbs to Plant in March

seeds to start in march

Overall, I suggest planting seeds of chives, dill, thyme, mint, parsley, and cilantro indoors, in pots or containers, for a continuous herb harvest all year round. If your climate allows and you have the space needed, then you can move them outside next month. Otherwise, at home should be good.

Vegetables to Plant in March

These are the vegetables to sow in March.

Tomatoes

starting tomato seeds in march
  • Where to Start Seeds: Indoors. I strongly suggest not to plant tomato seeds directly outdoors.
  • Soil Temperature: 70-85°F (21-29°C)
  • Preferred Location: Full Sun, In-Ground
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Days to Maturity: 60-85 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Early Girl, Beefsteak, San Marzano
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-10 (may vary by variety)

Recommended reading: How to grow tomatoes from seeds

Peppers

what vegetables to plant in march
  • Where to Start Seeds: Indoors
  • Soil Temperature: 70-85°F (21-29°C)
  • Preferred Location: Full Sun, In-Ground or Containers
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist. Peppers like well-drained soil
  • Days to Maturity: 60-90 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Bell Peppers, Jalapeños, Banana Peppers
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 4-10 (may vary by variety)

Broccoli

plant broccoli in march zones 3-10
  • Where to Start Seeds: Indoors
  • Soil Temperature: 60-70°F (16-21°C)
  • Preferred Location: Full Sun to Partial Shade, In-Ground
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Days to Maturity: 60-100 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Calabrese, De Cicco, Waltham 29
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Recommended reading: How to grow broccoli from seeds

Lettuce

plant lettuce in march zones 4-9
  • Where to Start Seeds: Outdoors
  • Soil Temperature: 45-80°F (7-27°C)
  • Preferred Location: Partial Shade, In-Ground or Containers
  • Light: 4-6 hours
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist, especially in warmer weather (I recommend to mulch around the lettuce in warm weather)
  • Days to Maturity: 40-75 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Butterhead, Romaine, Red Leaf
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Cucumbers

sow cucumbers in march zones 4-10
  • Where to Start Seeds: Indoors (for an early start) or outdoors. I strongly recommend always starting cucumber seeds outdoors on the final location and avoiding transferring seedlings as much as possible when growing cucumbers.
  • Soil Temperature: 60-95°F (16-35°C)
  • Preferred Location: Full Sun, In-Ground, or Containers (a trellis for vertical growth is a must!)
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist, especially during fruit development
  • Days to Maturity: 50-70 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Marketmore, Straight Eight, National Pickling
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 4-10 (may vary by variety)

Carrots

march plant carrots zones 3-10
  • Where to Start Seeds: Outdoors
  • Soil Temperature: 45-85°F (7-29°C)
  • Preferred Location: Full Sun to Partial Shade, In-Ground
  • Light: 6 hours
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist, especially during germination
  • Days to Maturity: 50-80 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Nantes, Danvers, Chantenay
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Spinach

sowing spinach zones 3-9 in march
  • Where to Start Seeds: Outdoors
  • Soil Temperature: 35-75°F (2-24°C)
  • Preferred Location: Partial Shade, In-Ground or Containers
  • Light: 4-6 hours
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist
  • Days to Maturity: 37-50 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Bloomsdale, Baby’s Leaf Hybrid, Tyee
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Radishes

what vegetables to plant in march zones 1-11
  • Where to Start Seeds: Outdoors
  • Soil Temperature: 45-80°F (7-27°C)
  • Preferred Location: Full Sun to Partial Shade, In-Ground or Containers
  • Light: 4-6 hours
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist
  • Days to Maturity: 20-30 days
  • Varieties to Grow: Cherry Belle, French Breakfast, White Icicle
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 2-10

Always consider local conditions and microclimates for the best results.

Spring-Blooming Bulbs Coming Up in March and April

Daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths are spring-blooming bulbs. If you plant any of them in the fall, you are about to receive the genuinely enchanting of the spring. Between the middle of March and April, these magnificent bulbs will bloom. I hope you planted bulbs; if not, you still have some chance to bloom forced spring bulbs in water.

Flowers to Plant in March, Zone by Zone

These are the seeds of flowers to plant in March.

Marigolds

annuals to plant in march
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Seeds indoors or direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 70-75°F / 21-24°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 2-11

Zinnias

starting zinnia garden in march zones 3-10
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow or start indoors
  • Soil Temperature: 70-75°F / 21-24°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Cosmos

sowing cosmo flowers in march zones 2-11
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow or start indoors
  • Soil Temperature: 60-70°F / 16-21°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 2-11

Sunflowers

planting sunflowers zone 3-10
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow or start indoors
  • Soil Temperature: 50-85°F / 10-29°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Pansies

sow flower seeds in march
  • Type: Perennial
  • How and Where to Start: Seeds indoors or direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 60-70°F / 16-21°C
  • Preferred Location: Partial shade to full sun
  • Light: 4-6 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Spring, Fall
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 4-8

Violas

what flowers to plant in march
  • Type: Perennial
  • How and Where to Start: Seeds indoors or direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 60-70°F / 16-21°C
  • Preferred Location: Partial shade to full sun
  • Light: 4-6 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Spring, Fall
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Larkspur (Delphinium)

larkspur seeds planted in march
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 50-60°F / 10-16°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Spring
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Sweet Peas

sowing sweet peas before spring
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 50-75°F / 10-24°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun to partial shade
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Spring
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 2-11

Nasturtiums

nasturtium seeds for planting in march
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 50-65°F / 10-18°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun to partial shade
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 2-11

Bachelor’s Button (Cornflowers)

sowing bachelor button seeds in march
  • Type: Annual
  • How and Where to Start: Direct sow
  • Soil Temperature: 50-70°F / 10-21°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun
  • Light: 6-8 hours
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 2-11

If your intention is to sow cutting flowers, then I suggest reading our guide to planning how to start a cut flower garden. You can explore layouts and learn how to combine perennial and annual flowers.

Fruits to Plant in March

Here’s a list of fruits to plant in March in the USA in the following zones. As you will see below, I suggest not growing some fruit trees from seeds, as it is not a recommended method, so pay attention to that gardening tip.

Strawberries

growing strawberries from seeds in march
  • How and Where to Start: from seeds, propagating by stolons, or transplanting young strawberry plants. You can sow indoors and then transplant outdoors.
  • Soil Temperature: 60-75°F / 15-24°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun to partial shade. Suitable for both container gardening and in-ground planting.
  • Light: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Days to Maturity: 4-6 weeks from transplanting.
  • Varieties to Grow: Albion, Seascape, Chandler.
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Blueberries

planting blueberry bushes in march

I strongly suggest planting young blueberry plants. They are typically purchased as bare-root or container-grown plants.

  • Soil Temperature: 40-60°F / 4-15°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun for maximum fruit production. Acidic soil is preferable.
  • Light: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Days to Maturity: 2-3 years for full fruiting.
  • Varieties to Grow: Bluecrop, Duke, Chandler.
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Peaches

planting peach trees in march
  • I do not recommend starting seeds. Best through young peach trees purchased from a reputable nursery.
  • Soil Temperature: 45-65°F / 7-18°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun. Well-drained soil is essential.
  • Light: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Days to Maturity: 2-4 years for substantial fruiting.
  • Varieties to Grow: Elberta, Redhaven, Contender.
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Apples

planting apple tree in march zones 3-9
  • I do not recommend starting seeds. Best through young apple trees. Choose disease-resistant varieties.
  • Soil Temperature: 40-60°F / 4-15°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun. Well-drained soil is crucial.
  • Light: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Days to Maturity: 2-5 years for significant fruiting.
  • Varieties to Grow: Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala.
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Cherries

planting cherry tree in march zones 4-8

I strongly suggest planting young cherry trees. Consider dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties for smaller spaces.

  • Soil Temperature: 45-55°F / 7-13°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun. Well-drained soil is essential.
  • Light: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Days to Maturity: 2-4 years for substantial fruiting.
  • Varieties to Grow: Bing, Stella, Lapins.
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 4-8

Plums

plum tree planted in march zones 5-9

I strongly suggest planting young plum trees. Choose self-pollinating varieties for smaller orchards.

  • Soil Temperature: 45-55°F / 7-13°C
  • Preferred Location: Full sun. Well-drained soil is crucial.
  • Light: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Days to Maturity: 2-5 years for significant fruiting.
  • Varieties to Grow: Santa Rosa, Methley, Shiro.
  • Suggested Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Remember to adapt the planting specifics based on your local climate and soil conditions.

March Gardening Checklist

As the transition from winter to spring occurs, March brings opportunities in the orchard to service equipment, fertilize trees, monitor for pests, and prepare infrastructure for the active growing and fruiting season ahead. Here is my early spring to-do checklist before the growing season:

1.    Pruning

March is an opportune time for the careful pruning of fruit trees in the orchard. This pre-bud-break period allows for the removal of dead or diseased wood, shaping the trees for better sunlight exposure and enhancing overall tree structure. Thoughtful pruning can stimulate healthy growth and improve air circulation within the canopy, reducing the risk of diseases. Consider practicing open-center pruning for peach trees or central-leader pruning for apple trees, adapting techniques based on the specific fruit tree varieties in your orchard.

2.    Fertilization

As the orchard prepares for the growing season, consider applying a balanced fertilizer to ensure the trees receive essential nutrients. Conducting a soil test can provide valuable insights into specific plant nutrient requirements. Proper nutrition contributes to robust tree health, leading to increased fruit production and overall vitality. For example, every year, I use a slow-release fertilizer to provide a steady supply of nutrients over an extended period. I definitely like to apply this type of fertilizer right before starting the growing season.

3.    Pest Control and Disease Prevention

March is the ideal time to implement disease prevention strategies and stay vigilant against overwintering pests. Inspect fruit trees for signs of infestation, such as scale insects or aphid colonies. Applying dormant oil sprays during this period helps control pests and their eggs before the warmer months, contributing to pest management and healthier trees. I strongly recommend looking for products specifically labeled as organic or approved for use in organic gardening when growing organically.

Also, March is a good month to introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings to control pest populations without the use of chemical sprays naturally. Applying fungicides (copper-based fungicides or organic alternatives) as a preventative measure helps combat common orchard diseases.

4.    Weed Control

Clearing the orchard of weeds is an essential step in March. Removing competing vegetation around the base of the trees reduces competition for water and nutrients. Explore different types of mulches for additional benefits like improved soil structure.

5.    Soil Moisture Management

Assessing the type of soil, soil pH, and moisture level is a crucial aspect of orchard care in March. Adequate irrigation, especially in regions with insufficient rainfall, ensures that fruit trees receive the necessary water for healthy growth. Proper drainage measures should also be in place to prevent waterlogging, which can be detrimental to tree roots. Consider installing a drip irrigation system for efficient water delivery directly to the root zone.

6.   Bee Attraction

Encouraging pollinators, such as bees, is crucial for a fruitful orchard. Planting early-blooming flowers and ensuring the availability of pollinator-friendly environments contribute to successful cross-pollination. This step enhances fruit set and overall orchard productivity. Consider planting a variety of flowers such as lavender, borage, or sunflowers to attract diverse pollinator species.

7.    Inspecting Irrigation Systems

Regular inspection and maintenance of irrigation systems are paramount in March. Ensuring that drip lines or sprinklers are in optimal condition guarantees proper water distribution throughout the orchard. Repairing any leaks or addressing clogs helps maintain consistent and efficient irrigation. Check irrigation system components, such as emitters and filters, and replace any damaged or worn-out parts. Learn more about strategies to save water in the garden.

8.    Planning and Planting

As the orchard gears up for a new growing season, March is an excellent time to start planning your garden and planting. If new fruit trees are part of the agenda, I suggest ordering and planting bare-root trees before they initiate budding. This strategic approach sets the stage for healthy root development and successful integration into the orchard ecosystem. Choose disease-resistant varieties and consider companion planting with beneficial plants.

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About Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan is an agronomist and a master gardener. In her previous roles, Julia was an advisor promoting large-scale food growing in urbanized areas, introducing the concept of chemical-free produce. She is an expert in putting her hands in the soil, developing organic foods, and improving production processes for decades. Julia is a natural teacher and encourages every person in her way to grow their own food. She split her days between writing and reviewing for The Garden Style Website and offering assessments to cure edible land. Julia enjoys connecting with The Garden Style Community.

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