The aroma of melted snow and wet dirt surrounds us as the earth slowly awakens from hibernation. Although the bluff tops quietly sleep under a blanket of snow, everything below is coming alive. March is when things simply start to feel different in our Zone 4 region. Sure, we tackled monthly gardening chores in January and February, but it didn’t quite *feel* like a new season was upon us. March changes all of that. It marks the transition of Winter to Spring. March, my friend, is a game changer.
The birds chirp more frequently. The earliest planted seedlings have sprouted and are getting their first true leaves. It’s not just the plants and the animals, though; it’s the people, too. Maybe it’s because we’re no longer weighed down by heavy coats and boots, but the mood is light-hearted, perhaps even a bit whimsical. This is not a new notion, of course, as the Spring Equinox has long been thought of as a time of rebirth and reawakening. But for whatever reason, and though it happens every year, it still feels *fresh*. And on March 20, I intend on welcoming it with open arms as though it were the prodigal son.
This is also when things really start to pick up when it comes to gardening indoors and even a little outdoors.
Monthly Gardening: March
Starting seeds indoors really ramps up in March. Every year, I feel anxious that I won’t have enough space for all the seedlings. It’s a timing game as far as choosing the optimal moment to start cold-hardy plants, so as they can be transplanted when it’s time to pot up heat-loving plants.
In March, I start a large variety of greens indoors. While we won’t go into every variety today, these include different varieties of romaine, butterhead, pac choi, mizuna, tatsoi, mustard greens, radicchio, frisée, iceburg, oakleaf, and loose leaf. I also start a number of kale, swiss chard, and cabbage varieties followed by celery, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. If you’d like more info on varieties, please contact me!
I thin seedlings that were planted the prior month by removing the weakest. I’ll also pot up artichoke seedlings, so they have more room to spread their leaves.
Though unlikely, it’s possible I may get into the garden at the end of March. Historically, it ends up being the first week of April for this ol’ gal. It’s usually cold and super wet the last week in March. You don’t want to be working saturated soil, and you won’t see much growth when temps are low. However, it’s possible we could get a warm spell and see the first daffodils. Last year, I cleared and fertilized the asparagus and berry patches on April 1. Given that Saturday lands on 3/31 and Sunday 4/1, it’s possible March will see some outdoor action. Crossing our fingers for you, March.
Sow & Transplant
There’s an off chance I could sow peas, radishes, and arugula and transplant spinach and beets the last weekend in March. But again, this typically happens first week of April.
If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen that we decided to grow mushrooms this year (tries to contain excitement). March is the perfect time to get started. We decided to grow on logs, and if you’re growing on logs you need live trees that are dormant (i.e., winter time). It’s been magical to get outdoors and get growing much earlier than usual. And oh yeah, I’m UHB-SESSED with mushrooms! We’re growing 3 strains of shitake and 3 strains of oyster mushrooms. And I need to stop talking now. My excitement to share the experience and recipes buzzing around in my brain is about to hurl all over the page . . . internet . . . whatever. Shhhhhhhhh….play it cool.
And that’s just all I have to say about that 🙂