Winter trees

Winter trees

Oak tree in winter

Oak tree in winter

Holly Tree

Timely Tips

MARCH 2021
By Kim Kleman,
Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County

March 8

Perennials: As the weather permits and the ground is not soggy, begin to remove weeds and dead foliage from flower beds and to loosen winter mulch to ease the way for plants to emerge. Where it won’t show, consider leaving some leaves that may be protecting overwintering pollinators. Trim away brown hellebore leaves to expose the flowers.

Flowers: Clear debris around emerging snowdrops, crocus and other early flowers. Take special care around delicate flowers in warm locations where these are already blooming. Create space for emerging daffodils and other spring bulbs to expand.

Fruits and Vegetables: Harvest any usable root vegetables still in the ground, such as beets, carrots and parsnips, before they sprout new green growth. Dig horseradish before it flowers. If you have space, you can leave a few carrots to flower where they will attract pollinators and other beneficials to the garden. Overwintering arugula, broccoli, kale and other cabbage family plants will also develop edible flowers in spring that attract pollinators and beneficials.

Trees and Shrubs: If you shielded evergreens with a burlap screen for winter protection, you may begin to remove it as the weather moderates.

Lawns: Stay off the lawn when its wet. Heavy foot traffic can lead to compacted soil, which drains poorly and can prevent roots from growing.

Houseplants: Prune houseplants that have grown leggy.

General: Next webinar in the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester Home Gardening Lecture Series:

Rain Gardens

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 from 10:00 to 11:00 am, remote on Zoom

Speaker: Ann Edmonds, Master Gardener volunteer. This presentation will cover how to create a rain garden, including location, site preparation, appropriate plants and how to care for the garden.

Sign up early: Pre-registration is required: $5 in advance via check or money order. For information on the lecture series, check out: Questions? Contact CCE at or call 914-285-4640.


Amy Albam
Horticulture Educator/Master Gardener Program Coordinator

Last updated March 8, 2021