Seasonal Plants for the Garden

The garden calendar begins to fill up with various activities during March.  Many gardens are starting to come alive with the warmer weather, signalling that spring has arrived.  March is a time for spring plants; trees and shrubs, climbers, and even new herbaceous perennial plants can still be planted as well.  Generally speaking, this is the time to complete soil preparation of beds and borders.  Digging or turning over the soil will help to provide ample ventilation for new plantings.  A close eye should be kept on greenhouses throughout the day because on sunny days the temperatures can warm quickly.  Despite this fact, the night may still be quite cold; therefore, tender shoots still need a bit of protection from the elements of early spring.  Take this time to provide protection of young vulnerable seedlings from the invasion of damaging pests.  The following advice will help you understand the seasonal plants that can be started in both the flower garden and the vegetable garden, as well as basic advice on how to best plant the spring plants.

March Flower Garden

March Flower Garden

1.  The March flower garden can begin by stocking up on seasonal plants from the nursery like herbaceous plants.  Established perennials may need lifting or dividing if they have been growing for three years or more; this will help them continue to flower.  This is relatively simple when using a fork or a spade to dig up the clumps of spring plants in such a way that as much soil is retained on the roots as possible.  Use your hands to pull each clump apart into several sections.  Hand forks can be used to leverage apart spring plants with tough roots.  Before replanting these sections make sure you remove any dead leaves, weeds, or debris from the new plants.  Take some time to clear other debris from other established plants before the new growth fully starts.

2.  March sowing for half-hardy quicker growing annuals can be done indoors and under glass.  These will be planted later outdoors or in grow pots.  These spring plants include Arctotis, African and French marigolds, verbena, and cosmos.

3.  March sowing of hardy annuals can begin outdoors once the soil is warm.  Before sowing, rake the soon to be flowerbed soil to a fine tilth and then firm it down a bit by treading upon it.  In large groups broadcast the seeds instead of just dotting them about.  It would be a good idea to label each sowing as well.

4.  Discourage pests, weeds, and diseases from the very beginning.  Slugs, snails, and other pests can attack emerging seedlings and awakening perennials.  Look for natural, organic means for protecting this young, leafy growth.

March Vegetable Garden

1.  As with the flower garden, the vegetable garden also requires soil preparation prior to installing spring plants or sowing seeds.  At this time of year digging, turning over, and incorporating compost should be completed before actual cultivation.  Avoid incorporating manure or compost to garden areas that will receive root vegetable plantings; this will have a negative effect upon the root growth, causing the roots to fang.

2.  March is the time to sow certain spring plants indoors and under glass.  Vegetables that can be sown for early forcing in a greenhouse, heated propagator, or on a warm windowsill indoors include tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, and French beans.  Other vegetables to being sowing under cover are celery and cucumber.

3.  March is also the time that certain other seasonal plants that do well in the cool spring climate can be sown outdoors.  Under a bit of shelter, the spring plants to sow outdoors include carrots, turnips, parsley, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, and radishes.  The covering can be removed once the seedlings have emerged strongly above the soil.  Leaving seedlings under cover for too long can cause them to become weak and drawn, but if the weather takes a sudden turn and a cold snap is anticipated over night make sure the seedlings are covered until morning.

4.  Other vegetables that can be planted in March include shallots and garlic.  As long as the soil is not too wet or too cold, early potatoes that have been chitted indoors can be planted during the latter half of the month.  Developed shoots will need to be protected from frost in there is an imminent threat.

5.  Vegetables that are actually in season in the month of March and ready for harvesting include early spring greens, beetroot and spinach.