Friday, March 4, 2011

March NW Gardening

Did you know that in March the Chinese celebrate the birthday of Mother Earth? To celebrate why don't you plant something you normally wouldn't plant. Happy Birthday Mother Earth!

Here in the northwest you need to be careful what you plant this month.  Only hearty plants can be planted and survive. March is a mean month. What I mean by that is that each day is different. Just when you think its warm enough you wake up to a frost and your plants were killed.  Your better off growing indoors or in your greenhouse for now.  Some plants can tolerate freezing temperatures for a few days  but in order for them to thrive, night temperatures should be in the high 40's or 50 degrees F.

You can sow some plants right now but just be careful and do slug patrol once in a while.  Because it is cold plants will germinate slowly. Here is a list of things you can grow in the Northwest.

Vegetables Herbs

Carrot Family-Brussels Winter, Turnip Rooted, Cilantro, Fennel, Sweet Cicely and parsley.
Mustard Family-Arugula, Cress, Radishes, Turnips and Oriental Greens.
Beet Family-Spinach, and many Swiss Chard
Pea Family-Fenugreek, Snap Peas, Snow Peas, Shelling Peas, and Garbanzo Beans
Flax Family-Golden Flax
Purslane Family-Minor's Lettuce

Late march
The first spuds can go in the ground as well as Jerusalem Artichoke.  These tubers grow underneath the soil, getting good growth before they emerge in April.  Sunflowers can be planted.

Sow under a cloche

Cloche is a transparent cover which protects your plants from the cold and speeds up germination and growth.  Some people use glass bell shaped containers which is my favorite because its so pretty. But you can use anything you want.  A clear plastic wrap would be just fine.

Vegetables and herbs

Carrot Family-Carrots and Parsley
Mustard Family-Arugula, Broccoli, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Mustard, Radishes and Oriental Greens.
Sunflower Family-Endive, Lettuce, Salsify, Scorzonera and Shungiku.

Sow Indoors to Transplant

Works wonders whether its a greenhouse or just a bright windowsill. If you didn't get your starts going last month you still have time using this method. Picture above I found on the internet and fell in love with.

Vegetables and Herbs

Onion Family-Chives, Garlic Chives, Broadleaf Chives, Leeks, and Green Onions.
Carrot Family-Celeriac, Celery, Cutting Celery, Finnocchio, and Parsley.
Mustard Family-Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower.
Beet Family-Good King Henry and New Zealand Spinach.
Buckwheat Family-Garden Sorrel and Rhubarb.
Mint Family-Anise Hyssop, Marjoram, Summer Savory, Perilla, lemon Anise Hyssop, and Lemon Balm.
Nightshade Family-Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Paste Tomatoes, Tomatillo, Ground Cherry and Garden Huckleberry.

My greenhouse is slowly getting filled. I have many Chards growing, Broccoli, Lettuce, and carrots all beginning to see some growth.  I really need to get my butt out there and get more starts going.  I also  need to get my pea teepee going this week.  The above picture is not my garden but just an example of what mine will look like. The picture is of Scarlet Beans which I will be growing in my garden this year. They are so pretty.  I cannot wait till my girls get to play inside the teepee.  Its a fun way to get my girls involved in gardening and make them feel as if they are a part of this whole gardening experience.

So my garden ready friends, what are you starting this month? So you use a cloche? If so which method do you use?

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