March is finally here, and the 15th is the last average frost date in Zone 9! That means gardening in March can begin in earnest! You can now start planting seeds in the ground, instead of indoors under grow lights.
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Whatever you have still growing indoors can be moved outside into the garden. Move your Fennel outside now. For me, I will move the Peppers and Eggplants outdoors. I moved my Tomatoes outside last week, gambling that there wouldn’t be a late freeze. I didn’t expect it to rain cats and dogs, though. It looks as though the tomato seedlings made it through the deluge here.
Direct seed the rest of the plants on this list in your garden.
The Herb list includes Basil, Chives, Cilantro, French Tarragon, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Marrow, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.
I have Mint, Oregano and Sage still growing from last year. I would recommend buying plants, simply because it gives you a head start on the growing season. However, buying seeds gives you more plants for a smaller price. The herbs can not only be grown in a dedicated herb garden, but also planted with other vegetables throughout the garden.
That is my plan. If you recall from my 2017 garden plan, I have 4 plots for herbs near the garden gate. I will also plant various herbs throughout the other plants as a bug deterrent or insect attractor for later in the season.
Vegetables to plant early in the month include Pole and Bush Beans, Beets, Collard and Mustard greens, Corn, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Bush and Climbing Peas, Radish, Spinach and Turnips. These are crops that do well in the cooler temperatures of early March.
If you have an opportunity to watch any nearby farmers, they have already planted their corn crops. I thought that corn was a warmer weather crop, but the farmers have been doing this longer than I have, so I will defer to their expertise, and get the Corn in as soon as I can.
Plant Cantaloupe, Eggplant, Peppers (Bell, Chili and Sweet), Pumpkin and Summer/Winter Squash later in the month, to take advantage of warmer temperatures. These plants may not grow quickly at first, but as the soil and air temperatures warm up, they will shoot up also.
Wait until next month to plant Cucumbers, Okra, Sweet Potato and Watermelon.
As I said in my last post, I have divided my garden into plots, dedicated to a particular crop type: Root, Leaf or Fruit. So, along with Beans, I will plant Carrots, Chard, Eggplant and French or Mexican Marigolds and Nasturtiums. With the Corn, I will plant Beans, Squash, Cantaloupe, Cucumber or Dill.
Eggplants will grow with Beans, Peppers or Tomatoes.
Plant Kale with Beans, Beets, Cucumber, Lettuce or French or Mexican Marigolds and Spinach. I will plant Basil with my Okra. Pumpkin will grow together with Dill, Nasturtium and Onions.
Other Beneficial Plants
Gardening in March also includes non-vegetable plants and flowers. Chamomile, Fennel and Yarrow will go throughout the garden to attract beneficial insects. You may have noticed that I have Comfrey growing in almost every plot. This is Russian Comfrey, a sterile variety that won’t overtake your garden. Its leaves are good for mulching.
So, now you have an idea of how to plan your gardening in March, both at the beginning and throughout the month. Whether you plant transplants or seeds, March is the month when green things will be seen throughout your garden!