What went down in the garden: March

Kale sprouts in early March (top) and late March (bottom) show how quickly spring growth happens.
Kale sprouts in early March (top) and late March (bottom) show how quickly spring growth happens.

A monthly round-up of garden activities seems like a relatively effective way to keep track of the garden’s progress, so here’s what’s been happening in March.

By now, I’ve started three varieties of kale, three types of lettuce, six peppers, three tomatoes, four basil, two chives, chard, calendula, globe amaranth, parsley, cabbage, broccoli, cosmos, two types of cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash. Whoa, that seems like a lot when I type it all out like that. They’re growing in four flats indoors under a rigged-up fluorescent light set-up, but whenever possible I take them out into the sunshine to toughen them up (and utilize the free energy).

Photo of seed trays from early March and late March.
Seed trays in early March (top) and late March (bottom) are making nice progress.

They’re sizing up nicely, and I’m hoping that the kale, cabbage and broccoli might be ready to plant out as early as next week. Just in time, too, because I (whoops) impulse-bought three more tomato varieties, and I have to find a place to get them going.

Garlic, radishes and strawberries are all looking happy at the end of March.
Garlic, radishes and strawberries are all looking happy at the end of March.

As for what’s already outside, the radishes and peas are coming along nicely, and the garlic I planted in the fall has really started to take off. Scapes will be here before we know it! The strawberries I planted last month look happy, too, and I’ve been pinching off their blossoms to encourage them to grow strong and root deeply. We planted a few strawberries last year, too, so I’m hoping those might bear fruit while the others settle in.

Radish sprouts and sage plant with light coat of frost.
Radish sprouts and sage were kissed by frost, but seem fine.

Of course, at the end of last week, nature felt the need to give me a little reminder that it wasn’t quite through with the cold yet, and brought a nice coat of frost.

And then, a couple of days later on Easter, it went all-out with a dusting of snow. I get it, spring. I won’t get too far ahead of myself just yet. Fortunately, everything outside already is hardy and nothing looks worse for the wear. And frost-free days are coming soon!

Pea plants are several inches high, despite snow.
Despite a dusting of snow, the pea plants are going strong.

There are a handful of seeds in the main bed, too – radishes, beets, carrots, spinach, lettuce, bachelor’s buttons, etc. – but I’m still waiting to see everything but the radishes. No matter how many times I watch seeds sprout, I’m still skeptical that it will happen the next time. So my fingers are crossed that I’ll start to see more growth soon – and that April will bring the first of the bounty!

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