MARCH: IN LIKE A LAMB, OUT LIKE A LION, OR SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE? The month of march is now four days old. and we already have a sample of what the month can bring our way. It is definitely not the time to plant warm weather vegetables because the first day of spring is still two weeks from now and even then, wind, snow, ice and sleet plus cold nights and days as well as frost possibilities until after mid-April. Keep in mind that some of our deepest snows have come during the month of March. On the other side of the coin, cool weather vegetables can now be planted and they will thrive in the cold sod of the garden plot. You can set out cabbage and broccoli plants and onion sets. The seed of mustard, kale and mixed greens, carrots, lettuce, beets and English peas can be planted. Irish potatoes can be planted after St. Patrick’s Day.
GROUND ZERO IN THE BARREN SIGN OF LEO The season of the wild onion is now upon us as we begin the month of March. Wild onions have green tops and deep root bulbs that are hard to pull up. One of the best ways to control wild onions and make the lawn more attractive is using the weed-eater to trim them down to ground zero (ground level),with the weed-eater, when the moon sign is in Leo, which will be March 18 and 19, 2016. At ground zero, the growth of the bulbs will be stunted and slowed down and the lawn will look better.
LET CABBAGE AND BROCCOLI PLANTS HARDEN OFF BEFORE SETTING THEM OUT IN THE GARDEN PLOT As you purchase cole family plants, let them harden off outside on the porch or carport a week or so to get them used to outside temperatures. They may have been in a greenhouse or inside a warm building. If you allow them some time outside, they will be able to adapt to cold soil in the garden. Remember, they will continue to thrive for a week or two on the deck or porch and carport. As mid-March arrives, the plants will be ready for the transplant in the garden plot.
SELECTING HEALTHY BROCCOLI, CABBAGE AND CAULIFLOWER PLANTS When selecting cole family plants for the garden plot, buy trays that definitely have six healthy plants in every six-pack. The plants should have blue-green stems which indicate they have been receiving nutrients and the right amount of moisture. Make sure the plants have not overgrown their containers or legged out. When stems are yellow and dry, the plants have damped off so do not purchase them because they are too far gone to do well in your garden. When you take plants home, let them harden off on the porch or carport for several days and water them lightly with a spray bottle.
STARTING OFF A PACKET OF TOMATOES FROM SEED It takes about six weeks to go from seed stage to transplant stage for a tomato. This means that if you start a packet if tomato seed, such as Big Boy, you can have plants ready for the garden by the first week in May. Buy a packet of tomato seed and a bag of seed-starting medium and pour enough of the starter mixed with water to make it moist and put the medium in a small container, sprinkle seed in the container, cover with a layer of medium and tamp it down with your hand, spray with a spray bottle of water. Place the container in a sunny room and spray with water every three or four days. In about ten days, they should develop two leaves and a day or two later, they will be ready to transplant to individual containers. In about four weeks, they will be ready to harden off by moving to the porch, deck or carport. Bring them inside at nights, when temperatures get cool. When nights get warm, they can be transplanted to the garden.
STILL PLENTY OF TIME FOR A ROW OR BEDDING OF SPRING ONIONS Onions sets will grow quickly in the garden soil of March and be ready by mid-April, just in time to add the kale harvest to it for a fresh salad. Onion sets come in varieties of yellow red, or white. Set them about three inches apart this time of year to allow for an easy harvest and plenty of green tops.
TAKING CARE OF THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS They’re thriving in the warm and sunny living room and look like they are ready for their move to the porch, but they still have over a month before they can moved. Al they need now is a drink of water once a week and a shot of fertilizer once every month.
MARCH ALMANAC The moon reaches it’s last quarter on Tuesday, march 1, 2016 and the new moon of March occurs on Tuesday, march 8, 2016. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, March 13, 2016. The moon reaches it’s first quarter on March 15, 2016. Saint Patrick’s Day will be Thursday, March 17, 2016. Palm Sunday will be March 20, 2016. The moon will be full on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 and the name of this moon will be ” Full Worm Moon”. Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, March 27, 2016. The moon reaches it’s last quarter for the second time this month on Thursday, March 31, 2016.
BURPEE SEED EXTENDS FREE SHIPPING AND HANDLING UNTIL APRIL 30, 2016. Burpee is extending free shipping and handling on orders of any amount until April 30, 2016. Take advantage of this offer to save about fifteen percent off your total order. You can order a free Burpee Seed catalog from W. Atlee Burpee and Company, 300 Park Avenue, Warminster, Pennsylvania, 18974.
A FRENCH HYBRID TOMATO NAMED MADAME MARMANDE FROM BURPEE this bright red tomato matures 72 days after transplanting to the garden plot. It provides ten ounce fruits on indeterminate vines. The French use this tomato and scoop out the inside to add cheese and spices to a make a colorful salad dish. A packet contains 25 seeds and has a very hefty price of $6.95. If you are searching for the unusual tomato variety, this may be worth trying!
Ray Baird has been providing gardening tips to the community for years and can be reached at 336-969-9350 or at BSylvia1946@gmail.com.