March On The Homestead

Spring comes: the flowers learn their colored shapes.”

–  Maria Konopnicka

March is a busy month in the garden. The weather is changing, the plants are growing, and there are a ton of things to get done in the yard and the garden.

Let’s start with the yard in general and work our way down to the most important spot, the garden.
March is the time to clean things up a bit. Gather up yard debris (fallen limbs, fallen fruit etc.) and get them in the compost pile.  If there is a ton of leaves in the yard there are several approaches to take with them. The first is to run your mulching mower over them and let them work their way into the lawn. This is a great way to add organic matter and save yourself some time raking.  If you don’t want the pesky leaves in the yard, then use the bagging attachment to collect the leaves as you mulch them with the mower.  These ground up leaves can be added to your compost pile and are a great way to add to an existing pile or start a new one. Lastly, you can get out the rake make giant piles of leaves to put into your flowerbeds.  They make a  great mulch with a wonderful natural look.  Old leaves have so many uses around the yard and garden.

March is the time to aerate your yard.  After you have aerated the entire lawn, top dress it with Geo Growers Turf Topper, or Composted cow Manure.  You can have it delivered to your house the day of aeration and spread before you know it.  Why you are at it, get enough Cow or Turkey Compost to top dress your lawn, flowerbeds, and garden beds all at once.
Once your lawn is top dressed, you can consider fertilizing it. Geo Growers carries a full line of organic lawn fertilizers such as Texas Tea or Medina Growin Green that are a great way to get that lawn jump started before the heat sets in.

Do not forget to top dress the flower beds and gardens with compost. You need to do this at least once a year to replace the organic matter that the plants need. Using  compost builds a healthy, fertile soil, adds nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to your soil,  and it improves the tilth of your soil.
Till in any cover crops you put in the garden. Cut them, till them, and let them breakdown for at least two weeks.

Be very mindful of late season freezes and spring winds. Keeping some sort of row/plant covers handy are a must to protect transplants. March 20th may be the last frost date for our region, but Mother Nature does not always stick to the rules.

Seeds to Plant in March:

EARLY MARCH:
Vegetables: Beans, Beets, Chard, Peas Radish

Herbs: Chives, Epazote, Milk Thistle

LATE MARCH:
Vegetables:
Black-eyed Peas, Chard, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Malabar Spinach, Mustard, Pumpkin, New Zealand Spinach, Summer Squash.

Herbs:  Basil.

Annuals:  Castor Bean, Cleome, Cypress Vine, Gomphrena, Gourds, Marigold, Moonflower, Morning Glory, Sunflowers

Plants to Plant in March:

Vegetables: Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Malabar Spinach, Mustard, Peppers, Pumpkin, New Zealand Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatillos, Tomatoes.

Herbs: Basil, Bergamot, Catmint, Catnip, Chives, Comfrey, Scented Geraniums, Echinacea, Feverfew, Lavender, Lemongrass, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Sorrel, Thyme.

Annuals: Cleome, Coleus, Cosmos, Gourds, Lion’s Tail, Marigold, Nicotiana, Pentas, Zinnias.

Perennials: Blackfoot Daisy, Esperanza, Firebush, Plumbago,

Trees and Shrubs: You can still get away with planting trees and shrubs in the mild March weather. Your trees and shrubs have a better shot being planted now rather in the heat of the summer.