The Garden Plot

Ray Baird

Can we look for snow in the middle of March? Snow in the middle of March is very possible and some of our biggest snows have occurred in the middle of March. Even in some years, there have been several hefty snows in the month of March. We just need to keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be below the freezing temperature to snow when the air above us is cold enough. A productive snowfall in March is not all that bad because it will add extra moisture and nutrients as well as insulation to newly set out Irish potatoes and onion sets!

Setting out a row of broccoli plants: Even with the mention of snow, broccoli plants can be set out in the late winter garden plot and a snowfall will not hinder their growth. You can buy broccoli plants in six-packs or nine-packs and you can choose from Premium Crop, Packman, Green Comet, Raab and Bonanza. Make sure plants are straight up and not legging out and check stems for a blue-green color and not yellow or browned out. Plants should be around six inches tall or seven but no more. Make sure the six-packs have six healthy plants and the nine-packs have nine healthy plants. Broccoli needs cool temperatures to produce plenty of heads before hot weather causes it to bolt into yellow seed flowers. Set broccoli plants about two to two and a half feet apart. Keep soil “hilled” up to the plants.

The bee population is alive and awakening: With the Carolina jasmine and colorful, fragrant hyacinths in bloom, the bees are being coaxed out of their hives and hollows. They are quite active and look happy to be buzzing around. They are a sign of spring and welcome to the landscape.

Indoor plants are thriving in the sunny living room: We have four Christmas cactus, a panda fern, an asparagus fern, a snake plant and a yucca plant wintering over in the living room. The cactus have bloomed and shed their blooms and the ferns have been trimmed twice. They still have over a month inside before spending spring and summer outside on the porch. All they need indoors is a sunny location, a drink of water every week and a shot of liquid fertilizer once each month.

The garden green of mid-March Alalea’s: The azaleas are reviving and turning a glossy dark green. As Saint Patrick’s Day arrives next weekend, we will give them a shot of Miracle-Gro liquid Azalea fertilizer to give them a good start into spring.

Planting a row or bed of mustard greens: A quick healthy spring vegetable that makes a harvest in around 45-days is the patch of spring greens. You can plant a bed of just mustard curly or a mix of mustard, rape, kale, spinach, tender green and broadleaf as well as Siberian kale. An ounce costs around two dollars and a two ounce portion will plant a 50-foot row. Plant a row or bed now and it can be harvested before you plant mid-spring vegetables where greens are planted.

Enjoying the tell-tale signs of spring: The message and sounds of spring are seen and heard all around us as spring approaches. The robins appear in greater numbers. The crows are cawing. Bees are buzzing around hyacinths, jonquils are blooming and frogs croak down at the creek. Days are longer and lighter by a minute each day. There are tiny buds on the maples and fruit trees. The lawn has a faint tint of green and the spring constellation of Leo, the Lion, rises in the eastern sky and last but not least the beautiful American violet is getting ready to burst into bloom

The list of early spring vegetables is endless: The season for planting all cool weather vegetables has now arrived and as long as garden soil is not frozen, all cool weather crops can be set out or planted. The

list is long and includes onion sets, potatoes (Irish), green June peas, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, radish, carrots, spinach, curly mustard, kale and even cauliflower. They need to be planted soon so they can produce a harvest before warm weather comes.

Getting ready for a Four O’Clock season: Most seed shops, hardware’s, Home Depot, Lowes Home Improvement and Walmart have seed displays of flowers that include the colorful four o’clock for about two dollars a packet. These flowers will grow in all types of soil and bloom from late spring all the way until frost.

Daylight Savings Time arrives Sunday: Set your clocks forward one hour Saturday night before going to bed because Daylight Savings Time arrives Sunday morning at two o’clock A.M.. We welcome this change!

A new container tomato from Burpee: Burpee Seed introduces a new container variety tomato named “Maglia.” It produces tomatoes 70-days after transplanting to the garden plot or container. It is semi-Determinate and reaches a height of two to three feet. The tomatoes are oval-shaped and reach up to three inches in diameter. They have a low acid taste, pink and a sweet catsup taste. A packet of 25-seeds cost $3.95.

A new container-type cucumber from Park Seed: Container growing is becoming a new trend for many gardeners with a limited amount of space. The new cucumber from Park Seed is well adapted for containers and we recommend a large container such as a tub or whisky barrel for these cucumbers. These seeds will also perform well in raised beds and yes, also the garden plot. Park’s new variety is named “Pick-A-Bushel” and produces fruit in 50-days after planting from seeds, which makes it work a try. Each plant will produce at least 20-cucumbers three inches or longer. It is a bush-type cucumber. A packet of 30-seeds cost $2.95.

“Full Worm Moon”: Enjoy the “Full Worm Moon” rising this Sunday after sunset. Enjoy its shine on all the trees full of buds and the flower garden too.

Ray Baird

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