This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. I thought it would be fun this year to post Monthly Garden Chores from both the West Coast and East Coast. You can see my March garden plans for my Seattle, Washington garden HERE.
Aaaaahhh March. Even though it’s just March, it’s March, which kinda feels like the light at the end of the dark, dark, winter tunnel. Literally, the sun is out earlier and staying out later which makes a huge mental difference and makes me want to plant things – any thing!
My New Year’s promise this month to make one “new” dinner a month is chugging right along. This month I made Mavis’s Homemade Pizza, Ritz Cracker Chicken, Oatmeal with Caramelized Bananas, and the Chicken Tortilla Casserole.
Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month
I’ve started 12 Italian Romo tomato plants and a flat of Romaine lettuce a flat of Butterhead at the beginning of February, which are doing great. I also had started some organic celery in water until it sprouted and then planted it, which surprisingly worked really well! Lastly, I started basil and cilantro in two glass bottles – terrarium style.
I’m also giving winter sowing a whirl this winter. For those of us in cold climates, it’s basically magic. I’ve started 29 winter sowing greenhouses so far (Perennial Bloom, Marigold, Hidcote Lavender, Chervil, Aubrietia, Bishops flower, Echinacea, and Lemon Balm as well as Broccoli, Kale, Swiss Chard and Brussel Sprouts). I’ll be using the perennials I grow in the winter sowing greenhouses to create a flower fence around my garden to encourage more bee activity.
March will be a busy planting month, now will be the time to start all my cold weather plants (broccoli, brussels sprouts, more lettuce) under the grow lights so I can put them out as soon as I can turn the soil (right now it’s still hard as a rock). I’ll also start peppers and eggplants under the grow lights so I can put them out first thing after the first frost in May.
What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month
Odds are we’ll still get another major storm or two in March or April, so until May I’ll sneak downstairs and whisper sweet nothings to the plantlings under the grow lights.
Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month
Well, I don’t have any plans to buy more seeds or bulbs – but you know how that goes! Every time I walk into the feed store, I get trapped by that wall-o-seeds. I can’t be the only one, I mean they’re only a dollar or so and they hold such promise.
What I plan to Harvest This Month
My lettuce is only about 3” high so hopefully by the end of this month I’ll be harvesting some homegrown lettuce – even if just enough for a baby salad.
Trees and Shrubs
Last week I declared to the hubbahubba that I was going to rip out the front boxwood hedge along the front of the house. It’s scraggly, thin, and prickly and I HATE it. I must’ve caught him at the perfect moment because he said, and I quote “whatever you want wifely”. SWEET! It’s gonna be hard work, but the second the ground thaws I’ll be out there singing while I dig with my handy-dandy pick axe. I have plans to replace it with a Hidcote Lavender row.
Now’s also the time to thin the blueberry and raspberry bushes in preparation for new sprouts.
Weed and Pest Control
Alas, my lemon tree has absolutely been invaded and covered with scales. From what I understand I could use a chemical treatment (not likely) or non-chemical treatment (wipe down the ENTIRE plant with rubbing alcohol then spray it down completely with cottonseed oil, repeat until gone, wear gloves and try not to gag – those scales are nasty!) However neither treatment can be done until the weather is above 30*. Yikes – that won’t be for another week – I hope lemon can hold on that long.
Chickens are funny critters. I found that if I throw some pine shavings over the snow they’ll go out and hang out and hang out in the pen.
PS: the woodworking project went well, however I have to admit I choose the times to build in the living room very strategically (read: when the HH was not home). J Check it out – how do you like my chicken tractor?
Lawn Care this month is revolving strictly around re-arranging snow. Sure, you can call it shoveling or snow blowing but when you get right down to it – it’s just a hobby built around rearranging snow.
**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.
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