“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
– Charles Dickens
March brings the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Spring for the northern hemisphere will arrive on March 20, the vernal equinox. On this day, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. There will be exactly 12 hours from sunrise to sunset. And in the northern hemisphere, every day will grow just a little bit longer until summer. Continue reading>>>
For early cool-season crops try indoor seed starting this year; you can get started this month. Crops that are the easiest to start indoors from seed are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Continue reading>>>
You can start vegetables, herbs, and flowers–both annuals and perennials–from seed. Starting plants from seed is less expensive than purchasing plants from a garden center. Seed starting will require some time and effort but can be very rewarding. Many more varieties of vegetables and flowers are available in seed than are offered at garden centers or nurseries. Continue reading>>>
Start tomato seeds indoors about 8 weeks before you plan to transplant seedlings into the garden. If you start seed in March you will be ready to set your tomato seedlings in the garden in May.
Tomato seeds can be started in pots, peat pellets, or flats. Be sure there are holes in the bottom for drainage.The optimal seed starting temperature for tomatoes is between 70°F to 80°F Seed will germinate best where the bottom temperature is about 85°F. Continue reading>>>
Peas prefer cool weather. They mature in about 60 days. So time your pea planting so your pea harvest comes before the weather turns warm. That means plant peas in late winter and very early spring (February and March in the northern hemisphere) in regions where there is seldom snow. In snowy winter regions, pea planting can start in mid spring (April in the northern hemisphere). As a general rule, peas can be planted six weeks before your last spring frost date. Continue reading>>>
Plastic tunnels can be used to extend the vegetable growing season by 4 to 8 weeks in spring and fall. A plastic tunnel is easily made by draping plastic sheeting over a series of sturdy wire or plastic hoops to create an enclosed growing space. Continue reading>>>
Most vegetable gardeners need a year or two of trial and error plantings and attentive record keeping to know when is the best time to plant in their garden. To start a vegetable garden, pay attention to the temperature. Your growing season happens between the last killing freeze of spring and the first killing freeze of fall. The exact date of the last and first freeze each year will vary—but you will soon notice there’s an average (check weather records online to see the pattern for your area). Continue reading>>>
An herb garden is easy to start; you can grow herbs in their own stand-alone bed, include them in existing flower and vegetable bed or grow them in decorative pots. Herbs are highly adaptable, they will grow in the garden, on a balcony or patio, and even indoors. An herb garden can be very small or as large as space allows. Continue reading>>>
Mix mizuna with other salad greens and mesclun or add shredded mizuna leaves to soups and stir fries at the end of cooking. Mizuna has a mild and tangy flavor. Use mizuna as a bed or garnish for meat and fish, grilled seafood, poultry or barbequed pork. You will find the flavor of mizuna peppery-fresh but not overpowering. Continue reading>>>
Cooked asparagus has a subtle sweet grassy flavor. It is a perfect match to salty dairy ingredients such as butter, Parmesan cheese, and hollandaise sauce. Asparagus also is well matched to slightly sulfurous-tasting foods: eggs, shellfish, and garlic. There are three types of asparagus: green asparagus which can be both sweet and slightly tart flavored, purple asparagus which is sweeter than green asparagus, and white asparagus. Continue reading>>>
Here is a recipe for fresh vegetable lasagna—for all seasons. I am going to give you—in one recipe—the options to make this hearty and tasty dish in cool weather—using butternut squash or kale or spinach or a combination of these—or in warm weather—using bell peppers or eggplant or Swiss chard. As well, you likely will think of vegetables growing in your fall-winter or spring-summer vegetable garden that might easily stand in for some of the veggies I use here. Continue reading>>>
Autumn will arrive in the Southern Hemisphere–Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile–on March 20. Cool season crops need to be planted as soon as possible: beetroot Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, endive, leek, parsley, parsnip, potatoes, silverbeet (chard), and Swede (rutabaga). Cool weather crops require warm weather to germinate and begin growth. They will mature in the cool weather of autumn and be ready for harvest in late winter and early spring. Continue reading>>>
Why shouldn’t you tell a secret in a vegetable garden?
Because the potato has eyes and the corn has ears!