Thursday, March 3, 2011

March Gardening Duties

It is snowing at the moment here, on top of many feet of snow and a big snowstorm predicted for next week.  Therefore, some gardening duties have been amended, specifically pruning.  Walking through the deep snow is difficult enough, and with the snow covering a good portion of the shrubs and trees, I will hold off pruning until we have a significant melt.  It is best to prune while plants are dormant, but practicality trumps in this case....whaddygunnado?

BUT don't think you can just continue to lay around watching Dr. Phil, it's time to expand the mind instead of the waistband!  Here are some garden-related duties for you to wrap your head around...

Pruning tool maintenance.  You many not be able to get out there yet, but you should make sure your pruners, loppers, shears, and saws, are all in tip top cutting shape.  Clean off resin and other gunk, disinfect and sharpen or replace blades, tighten screws, and lubricate springs.  It's important to make one clean cut for the plant, and oh so much easier on the tendons. 

Start seeds.  Set your seed starting calendar according to your last frost date.  Here is my calendar for seeding: 
Mid February:  Onions, Parsley, Peppers, Violets
March 6:  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Ageratum
March 15: Verbena bonariensis
March 21: Basil, Marigold, Zulu Prince Daisy
March 27: Beet, Allysum, Calendula, Heliopsis
April 3: Coreopsis, Dotted Mint, Tomato
April 11: Tithonia
April 17: Cosmos
May 1: Squash, Zucchini, Cucumber

Vegetable Garden Planning.  Plan your veg and herb gardens, planting veggies near their favorite companions.  Here is a table that may help with that.

Plant near
Avoid planting near
Basil, Tomato, Nasturtium, Parsley
Onion, garlic, potato
Carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, marigold
Chives, leek garlic
Broad Beans
Brassicas, carrot, celery, corn, lettuce potato
Brassicas, lettuce, onion, sage
Bean (pole)
Celery, chamomile, dill
Oregano, strawberry
Brussel Sprouts
Potato, thyme
Beetroot, potato, oregano, sage
Strawberry, tomato
Bush beans, pole beans, lettuce, onion, pea, radish tomato
Chives, dill, parsnip
Beans, celery, oregano
Nasturtiom, peas, potato, strawberry, tomato
Cabbage, leek. Onion, spinace, tomato
Parsnip, potato
Bean, cucumber, melon, pea, ,pumpkin potato radish
Bean celery, lettuce, pea, radish
Cauliflower, potato, basil
Bean, capsicum potato spinach

Carrot, celery, strawberry

Carrots radishes strawberry
Beans, beetroot, parsley
Corn, radish
Bean sprout, broccoli, ,cabbage, lettuce, strawberry, tomato
Bean, pea
Beans, carrot, corn, cucumber, radish
Onion family
Bean, corn, cabbage, pea, eggplant
Cucmber, pumpkin, squash, sunflower
Celery cauliflower, eggplant

Asparagus, celery, carrot, parsley, marigold
Corn, fennel, potato

Collect newspaper for garden mulching.  I have been hoarding paper all winter, and will lay it down over weedy areas and top with compost and other mulch material.

Get your plant orders put together and submitted!  This probably should have already been done, if you have not, you may have reduced availability.

Freshen up those outdoor containers.  Get the tired old holiday stuff out, (I certainly hope you did not use spruce tops...see previous blog on how collection of spruce tops ruins peat bogs in Minnesota and elsewhere) and replace with some spring-like twigs of pussy willow. 

Keep your chin up, we're almost there.


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