Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Garden in March

*The following information is excerpted from my Perpetual Gardening Calendar.  I'll let you know when the print run is done and it is once again available for sale! Until then I will be posting the "what to do in the garden" portion of the calendar right here each month!*

March is when things start to get busy here.  We are in zone 6.  You can adjust accordingly for other zones.  Hopefully, you have ordered and received your seeds by now.  If not, stop and do that immediately. Prices are up by 50% for many varieties and shortages are expected.   You don't want to do any direct seeding into your gardens until the daffodils bloom!  If you will learn to take your cues from our Father's signs in nature, you will be way ahead of the game.  This is an area that I am continually asking older farmer's about.  I want to learn as much as I can before that knowledge is lost.    There is an exception to the blooming daffodil sign...peas!  I have read that you can actually plant your peas in the snow...they just know when to come up.  I haven't tried this.  (Remember, I am the lady that planted sweet corn in February/March....I'm not quite as trusting now!) If you do plant your peas in the snow, let me know how it goes.

So...what should you be doing this month?  If you have been a prudent gardener and planted a cover crop in your garden, now is the time to till it under.  Do this at least two weeks before planting.  Add compost and amendments before planting.  Josiah has been filling the beds with wood ash and composted manure for the last several weeks.  Organic matter is very necessary for healthy soil.

Start the following seeds inside (under grow lights, in a greenhouse, or in front of a sunny window): Eggplant, Annual herbs, Lettuce, Okra, Peppers, Summer Squash, Tomatillos and Tomatoes.

Direct Seed: Arugula, Beets, Carrots, Chard, Collards, Greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Mache, Onion Sets, Oriental Greens, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Snow Peas, Spinach, Turnips, Cilantro, Dill and Parsley. (Let those 3 herbs go to seed each year and it will provide a wonderful habitat for good bugs!)

Transplant:  Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce,  Fruit Trees, Berries/Grapes/Other small fruit

Put your asparagus in a permanent bed.  Prepare your Strawberry beds or if they are already established remove the mulch towards the end of this month.

Note the date you planted carrots in your Garden Journal and what day they are scheduled to germinate, count back 3 days and flame weed the bed with a propane burner. This will kill the weeds and allow the carrots to shoot up and crowd out the weeds with their bushy tops!

Grow a wide variety of herbs for cooking, medicine and teas.

Don't forget to inoculate your legume seeds (beans, peas) before sowing to be sure that nitrogen-fixing bacteria will be present in the soil.  You can find it in garden catalogs and in garden centers.

Be sure to succession plant for longer harvests.  For example, sow lettuce seed every week or two so that you have a continual harvest.

Plant nasturtiums with squash, marigolds with beans, and borage with strawberries to repel bugs!

Remember!  If you have planted directly into the garden and find you are facing an unexpected cold snap, cover your plants with row cover for protection.

I hope the above helps you keep on track for March.  I will post my garden calender to do list again on the 1st of April.  We had an unexpected snow storm this morning and it has turned cold again.  Just the other day, I was out working in a T-shirt on a beautiful warm day.  I'm sure our trees are confused.  Our peaches are loaded with buds...I am praying that they don't blossom until later.  We tend to loose our peaches because they bloom so early.

Next post...more spring preparations!



  1. Great post! I need to get more seeds started but it is rough when you are 8 months pregnant!

    We planted peas in late February, early March (just a couple hours south of you) and most of them rotted. That's the problem with planting peas. If the soil is cold and damp they may well rot. I'm going to wait another few weeks this year.

    Have you read about Winter Sowing? Someone introduced me to the concept this winter and I love it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing many garden pictures!!

  2. I planted some seeds in our south facing kitchen bay window, cool at night but warm on the sunny days. So far cilantro, celery, tomatoes, basil. I have some small spinach in the garden that was under a row cover and some plastic where I also put some onion and lettuce seeds now. We are experimenting since we just moved here last summer and only had a couple things planted then. Now we have to fence the garden in though because our 6 chickens free range and boy did they attack that spinach when i was rearranging the covers. I had to shew them away bigtime so now we know what will happen to a newly planted garden too. Glad everything went well with the court business. Praying for you and family. Blessings.

  3. At the rate we're going, we won't be able to do your March things until July!

  4. I ordered seeds the day before this post! Such timing. I live north of Chicago so there's PLENTY of time before it's past frost.

    A question about succession planting: do you do it in the same bed as your first planting? Or seed different places at different times? (If applicable: How do you know when a place is ready for reseeding?)

    Also, any suggestions on grow lights? Sadly our apartment & balcony get 4-5 hours of light at most, ending by noon. Our plants did well in the peak of summer but were puny other times, and I think they need more light. But we must grow more of our food.


  5. Kristen,
    I have not read that....I'll check it out. Thanks!

    You are doing a great job! Keep good notes about what worked and what didn't. It will help you in years to come.
    Thank you so much for your prayers.

    In a way, I am a bit envious....I wish I had another month or two to do "winter" things before spring arrives.

  6. Don’t forget to inoculate your legume seeds (beans, peas) before sowing to be sure that nitrogen-fixing bacteria will be present in the soil. You can find it in garden catalogs and in garden centers.

    What does this mean exactly? Explain please?

  7. Beth,
    Long story but I'm short on's a great link to a pdf that explains it all :)

    Blessings and happy reading!

  8. I purchased your garden calender last year and really appreciate it ;)

  9. Diane,
    I do both types of succession planting. Lettuce is sown right back into the lettuce bed. Squash and melons I tend to succession plant in other places in the garden to help suppress bug activity.

    I try to time my new plantings so that they are close to producing just about the time the first planting is fading.

    I don't know anything about grow light...sorry!



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