Garden Musts for March

11 Mar

Dig, dig and dig some more.  Then add mulch, mulch and more mulch.  Take a break to enjoy the show of daffodils and crocuses, then dig and mulch a little more.  March is all about enjoying the first blooms of the year and prepping for the growing season.  Join me as we talk about a few of the exciting garden happenings and chores this month.
Zone note: The advice below is based upon a USDA zone6 garden. If you are in zone 4 or 5 or colder, most of these suggestions will apply to April or May. If you are in zone 8 or 9 and above, your season is already warming up and you can grow just about anything now.

eclectic  by Amy Renea

March is for digging, so break out the shovels and pitchforks and get to work.    Adding sand, manure or other amendments can be done easily as you turn the ground over.  Digging is easiest when the moon is waning, so for 2012 do your digging during the first or last week of March.  Theoretically, the water table is lower when the moon is waning, so the soil is lighter when digging.  If you still have snow on the ground, leave this chore until the ground has dried out in early April.
eclectic  by Amy Renea

Keep an eye out for strawberry plants this month.  If you planted strawberries last year, you will start to see them perk up around this time of year.  Mulch under them and weed to keep the competition away and the berries growing.
by Amy Renea

You will also want to keep your eyes peeled for asaparagus.  Asparagus takes three years to become established, so don’t pick the spears yet. Let them grow without cutting for the first two years and then you will be able to harvest for the next 20.
eclectic  by Amy Renea

Asparagus plants like shade and hate competition.  A little mulch will give these perennial veggies a good start.
eclectic  by Amy Renea

Cool-season crops can start going in the ground in milder zones.  In zones 6 and 7, March is the perfect time to buy onion, potato and garlic sets. Sets are tiny little plants bundled together and sold for a few dollars, and they have a much quicker harvest time than plants started from seed.  You can also create your own sets by planting some kinds of cooking scraps: Garlic, onions and potatoes will all grow from a grocery store parent.
eclectic  by Amy Renea

While you are at the nursery, you might as well pick up a few more packets of seeds.  You can often find seed sales this early in the season to get folks buying, so pick out a few new varieties for fun. This is also the time of year to really nail down your garden design plans.  Get out all of your seed packets, a journal or grid paper and map out plantings.  Be sure to consider the color and form of each plant, along with bloom time.  Don’t forget to consider the most basic water, light and soil needs of plants and group accordingly.
eclectic  by Amy Renea

March is the best time of year for forcing branches.  Flowering trees are just about ready to bloom naturally, so they will bloom quickly indoors.  Simply cut a few branches from cherry, apple or dogwood trees, place in water and wait for the show.
by Amy Renea

If you are in a milder climate, you can start purchasing cool-season annuals such as pansies and dusty miller (pictured).  If frost threatens, bring the pot indoors or cover your plants with an old sheet.  Cool-season annuals should be able to survive a slight chill.
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Hobbies


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