Victory Gardener’s Almanack for the month of March 

Mike Dunton’s Maritime Northwest Edition Victory Gardener’s Almanack for the month of March 

The winter finally comes to an official close later this month. Time to start putting all of your winter dreaming and planning into practice. In general, it is still too early to plant many species of garden vegetables, but with protective measures and scoping out microclimate zones in your yard, experimenting is always fun.

In the Vegetable Garden 

  • Now is a good time to germination test any leftover seeds from prior years that you have saved.
  • Order your seeds. Companies get busy in March, so ask them about shipping delays.
  • Prepare your garden soil for sowing. Mow and work in cover crops, compost, and other planned soil amendments. The goal is for the nutrients to be freely available to developing plants during the gardening season.
  • Using the garden plan you developed over the winter, and as soon as your soil can be worked, sow peas, parsnips, spinach, beets, carrots, chard, parsley, radishes and salsify.
  • Potatoes can be planted as the soil drains and can be worked.
  • Late cabbage and cauliflower can be started from seed in a cold frame, or in areas that have warmed up, directly in a seedbed.
  • Fertilize your asparagus beds.
  • If you didn’t start them last month, sow your eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes indoors. The rule of thumb is to sow eggplant and pepper seeds about eight weeks prior to your last expected frost date, and tomato seeds at about six weeks prior.
  • Inspect your gardening tools. Repair or purchase replacements before the season gets into full swing. Choose quality over price, keep them maintained, and they should last a lifetime or more.

In the House, Yard, and Orchard 

  • Don’t get too excited on nice days and rush to uncover your protected perennial plants too early.
  • About mid-month, many annuals can be started indoors.
  • Before your perennial beds break their winter nap, now is a good time to broadcast fertilize.
  • If you mulched your crocuses, now is the time to remove it. Keep tulips and daffodils lightly covered.
  • Plant any remaining bare root plants or trees that you have purchased.
  • Early spring is also a good time to plant dormant roses.
  • Finish pruning your grapes; get the task done sooner rather than later. If You wait too long, they will bleed.
  • Finish up pruning your fruit trees, focusing on removing dead or broken limbs, as well as those that are rubbing on each other.
  • Now that the days are getting longer, repot houseplants that need room to keep grow.

Mike Dunton is the founder of the Victory Seed Company and one of the early signers of the Safe Seed Pledge. The Victory Seed Company works to preserve rare, threatened, heirloom seeds and to make them available to home gardeners. 

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