If there is one thing to be sure of these days, it is that you can’t be sure of what weather the month ahead will bring. March has a notorious history of swinging to one side or the other between winter and spring. We’ve tried for millennia to peg a reliable divining source, from hedgehogs to almanacs, with only the inconsistency being consistent.
The best thing you can do is to look and listen to your garden. It has already begun preparing no matter the day-to-day weather and you should to. Those spindly thickets will start to fatten into the lush silhouettes of spring and the promise of the coming Pollack like splattering of colors are evident in the developing buds. Follow it’s lead in starting your preparation.
Here in our little walled gardens, we’ve settled into a compromise of not doing much. We’ll spend this year’s seasonal cycles watching and learning. We’ll move a few things here and there, add pots, and a bit of pruning, but the idea is to see what pops up and surprises us during the year. We’ll then be better prepared to add and/or subtract in making the gardens our own. If there is one thing that gardening does well, it is forcing us back into a natural time table. Our modern 24-hour instant gratification mind set is absolutely useless as we ease into planning scales of months, seasons, and even years ahead.
March is the perfect time for garden preparation. The longer hours of daylight are begging you to get outside and get your hands dirty. No matter the weather, this month is all about prepping the canvas. Some foundational prep to be done this month (if you haven’t already):
Mulch: spread it on thick. Mulch is much more than a fresh pretty backdrop for you spring and summer flowers. It helps suppress weeds, maintains moisture, and eventually gets worked into the soil below adding nutrition and texture. Add an inch or more!
Clear out any winter weeds and dead undergrowth. Be careful not to walk too much in your planting areas though as wet soil easily compacts.
Mend or set up fencing, trellis supports, set up raised beds, and any other structural projects.
Order your seeds and start seeding your cool weather crops. Don’t jump the gun on vegetables and herbs that can’t tolerate the cold. Click here for a great calendar for food growers.
If you haven’t already, plot out what your planting where. Read up on your plant’s needs and make sure your space is appropriate.
Indoor plants are going to be waking up now that there is more sunlight as well. Now is a good time to re-pot, fertilize, and clear off dead leaves.
Just remember to have patience with the split personality of March and keep the faith because #SpringIsComing!