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The Month of March in the Garden

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Ready to dive into what I like to call PreSpring? No matter what the weather of March brings, it is full of gardening activities including seeding many powerhouses of the garden year. March is also a great time to enjoy the outside on those warmer sunny days. Get out your pruners and stroll through your garden. Here is what our 5b (or is it now a 6a?) homestead garden list looks like.

Having plant starts ready to transplant outside at the first signs of spring (usually April 1st here) creates a jump start for our gardening year. Spinach and cabbage can be started at the same time as the rest of the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, kale), but they also can be started a week earlier. Spinach is a fickle plant, not liking being transplanted or having their roots touch the side of a normal pot. When using soil blocks instead of seedling packs, we get a spinach harvest early in the spring that then continues until the warmer summer weather. Otherwise, spinach can sometimes sit in the garden without thriving early on. Check your spinach packet to see how old the seeds are. Spinach germination decreases with age and 3 year old seeds will often have poor germination.

The Brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower) are powerhouses of our garden. While we enjoy them fresh, broccoli and cauliflower are blanched and frozen for delicious quiches, mac & cheese (with hidden cauliflower), stir fries and soups all winter long. Our early cauliflower variety (Charming snow) starts producing early in the summer and continues to produce all through the season. What a gift to have cauliflower for the dinner table and put away in the freezer by June/July.

We always plant the things we LOVE to eat during the summer, but planting for quick and EASY winter storage (like broccoli and cauliflower), keeps us eating from our garden all year round without a huge amount of effort. The forethought the comes in during March, is the set up that makes our gardening and preserving year simple and doable.

As far as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, the favorites and heat loving plants in everyones garden, they should not be seeded too early. Some years tomatoes can be put into the garden in May 1st, this is a rarity depending on the weather of that year. Peppers and Eggplant require HOT weather before being transplanted, so its best to not start those seeds too early.

And don't forget the flowers!! Color is as important as food in the garden. Some flowers need to be started quite early to be ready for transplanting later in the spring. Check your seed packets for exact timing for seeding any plant indoors. I always start pansies and snapdragons this time of year because they can go out very early in the spring and my heart sings when I can plant early flowers in the garden.

Have fruit trees and berries to prune? Its time to get out your pruning book and start educating yourself while sitting next to the winter fire. Pruning does not need to be done in the cold. Take a warm day in March, or even early April to enjoy some fresh air while using your clippers. Its good for the soul to enjoy the winter sun in this way.

Interested in learning more? We are hosting a 6 part gardening series for only $40. Space is limited so register here for the entire 6 part series which starts on March 22nd. Pre-registration required, scholarships are available.

About Lanie: She is a weaver, healer and farmer located in Sweet Valley PA. She grew up organic gardening in upstate NY and continued the legacy of growing her own food once she finished college. After 20 years as a wildlife biologist working on wind farms in NY and PA, she now as healing practice in Dallas, PA. As part of Our Sustainable Family, she has a craft weaving business as well as offers workshops on gardening, nature connection and healing.


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