As the cold weather begins to recede, we are all itching to get outside and start March gardening. March marks the beginning of the gardening season in many regions, and it’s the perfect time to start preparing the garden to save money and time. In this post, we’ll look at mentally preparing to get in the mood to garden again, what we need to start gardening, the best flowers for March, and vegetables you can plant, as well as if it’s too late to start a garden.
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GETTING IN THE MOOD
When this special time of the year arrives, we gardeners begin to feel overwhelmed with all the things we have to do. The thought of getting back out into the garden after a long winter is enough to make us giddy with excitement, but sometimes we start making our goal list too long.
It can be helpful to take some time to mentally prepare for the upcoming gardening season. Getting ready is more than making lists and buying seeds:
- Begin by visualizing your garden as you want it to be. What are the colors that inspire you? What plants will you grow? Imagine the beauty of the garden, and the wildlife, and let that motivate you. Check out my blog post ‘COLOR IN THE GARDEN | It Will Boost Your Mood.’ for more color inspiration.
- Get inspired by browsing gardening blogs, and social media accounts for new ideas and garden centers. But don’t let this make you want to grow everything, use it as inspiration.
- It is time to finalize the task list you started. You need a complete break down, but make it manageable for you.
- An important thing to do is to get your tools ready. Organize them, inspect them, and clean them well. It will really help you prevent diseases in your new plants.
WHAT TO PLANT IN MARCH
With so many plants and seeds available to explore the garden universe, March gardening is the most exciting time to learn about new plant varieties available. But remember, stay focused on your goals, maybe pick a handful that you want to explore this year and add that to your list.
Keeping some of what has been successful for you in the previous planting season, and adding a handful of new one, will keep the gardening experience exciting, but not overwhelming.
Flowers to Grow for March Gardening and Save Money
I love pansies, they immediately add color first thing when Spring arrives. They are so cheerful and the range of colors is amazing. I love them for pots, hanging baskets, and adding color to a vegetable garden. Remember that they are edible as long as you are growing organic. I am growing such a beautiful one this season from seed. I must warn you that they are hard to grow from seed and take such a long time! Some things are better getting from the store if you want to choose other challenging plants to grow. Pansies are one plant that is okay to spend money on and buy at the store, it will save you a lot of time.
You did not get your bulbs down in the Fall? No worries, you can do them in March. I am also growing Ranunculus indoors to get in the garden this Spring. Make sure you wait until after the last frost date to plant them so you have early summer flowers. I am growing so many this season! I find growing ranunculus indoors from corm saves me money. The ones found at the stores are not as great as growing them yourself indoors, making them not worth the money I have spent previously. Timewise, they are so easy to grow indoors that it doesn’t take much of your time.
This will vary depending on where you live. But some of the vegetables you may want to consider and research are; salad greens, spinach, potatoes, peas, and carrots. You can also get seeds going for radishes to have an early summer harvest. Remember to not waste money by trying to start carrots and radishes indoors, they both need to be directly sowed. With potatoes, if you want to save money, use the leftover potatoes in your kitchen and wait until they show eyes or little sprouts. After you see the eyes, plant them outdoors to get many potatoes.
Read my blog post about sweet peas to learn everything you need ‘GROWING SWEET PEAS FROM SEED | MUST KNOW TIPS!’ I am growing some new ones this year that are beautiful; Incense Peach Shades, Happy Birthday, Grower’s Choice Ambrosia Mix, and Valerie Harrod. You can start these flowers indoors to get ahead, but if you don’t want to spend the time or have the money to get the setup going, feel free to start them outdoors. Sweet Peas grow quickly, so don’t stress if you can start indoors or haven’t started yet.
MARCH PLANT OF THE MONTH
I have to say that for me March gardening time is the most exciting because of plants like the pansies. Pansies are such great flowers. You can get so many colors and some have ruffles that make them so delicate looking. They are such a great option for the beginner gardener.
TIPS TO GROWING PANSIES SUCCESSFULLY AND NOT WASTING MONEY
- SUN: They need sun, whether in a pot or the garden. They will do much better if you provide 8 hours of the sun instead of partial shade.
- DRAINING: Plant pansies in well-draining soil. I always add fish compost to my pansies and they love it. You can also add some earthworm casting, it does help a lot.
- WATERING: Don’t overwater them, they do not like to have wet feet and will not last. Do water regularly, it is best not to let the soil dry up completely
- DEADHEADING: This is where a mindful moment comes in. Take the time to deadhead the blooms. I know it is tedious, but wear some headphones and breath, it will be a great hypnotic time. You do this deadheading and it will bloom non-stop.
VEGETABLES TO PLANT IN MARCH
We all want to get started when Spring to arrives. Again, depending on where you live, you may be able to grow some great vegetables outdoors. I start mine indoors because it is just too cold in the PNW, but I like to get a head start on a lot of my vegetables and transplant them later.
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GREAT VEGETABLES TO GROW IN MARCH AND GET THE MOST OUT OF THE HARVEST
- Salad Greens: One of my favorite lettuce to grow is the Red Merlot. It is a gorgeous red and super delicious, very delicate in flavor. The best thing is that the slugs think it is too bitter and won’t touch it. But to us humans it is not bitter at all. Score! The other salad green I love is the Cosmic Crimson Mix. Such a beautiful blend and tasty.
- Spinach: The beaujolais Spinach is great. It has a gorgeous red vein and is a mild sweet flavor and very tender. It is better if harvested a sa baby leaf.
- Peas: I am most excited about growing Blue Shelling Snow Peas this year. It is a dark purple color outside, just so beautiful. They do cook green, but in the garden, they look amazing with this impressive color. They are best eaten raw.
- Potatoes: I always talk about the small blue potatoes. These are absolutely stunning and have the most delicious flavor of all the potatoes I have had. The taste is nutty. We grow them every single year!
IS IT TOO LATE TO START A GARDEN IN MARCH?
You haven’t started yet? Don’t worry, this is a great time to start a garden. We have to wait here until the end of March and it is okay. Some plants and veggies may have been planted in the fall, but you have so many options available to start a garden in March.
If you are a beginner, read ‘Gardening for Beginners | You Must Know this First!’ to help you get started and become clear on the path to a successful garden.
Keep in mind your space and consider some important things when you start to not waste time.
- START SMALL: Are you new to gardening? It is a good idea to start with a small area in your garden or you can even grow in containers. When I started I grew my seeds on the window sill and only planted my vegetable outdoors in pots. I learned so much from the experience. It is better not to become overwhelmed and learn so you come back next year.
- SELECT THE RIGHT PLANTS FOR YOU: When selecting plants, look up if they are good for your zone. You can look online or even call the garden center to ask if you can’t go visit them. Nurseries love giving advice and connecting with the public, they are as excited about the season starting as you are.
- SOIL, SOIL, SOIL: Take the time to add compost to the soil. Amending the soil with organic matter is probably the most important thing you can do in the garden. Take the time to do it and the rest of the experience will go great. It does not matter if you have clay, sand, or any type of soil. Add compost to get it ready.
- PATIENCE: You are not going to have plants overnight, they take time. And remember not to get discouraged if you have pests. The earth is waking up from winter just as we are. Bad pests in the garden, also mean beneficial ones like bees and dragonflies also waking up. Do not go crazy with insecticide, it is so detrimental to the bee population. We lose, in most states, around 30-% of the bee population, if not more. Springtime is a critical time to allow them to come back and build up the colonies. We need those bees to have food and flowers. Patience will reward you.
ARE YOU FEELING READY NOW?
March is such an exciting time for all of us and I know, that if you are starting out, you will find the journey to be unforgettable. With a little time and some effort, you are going to have the most amazing garden experience. ENJOY THE GARDEN, MY COCOON FRIENDS!
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