March - What’s in Kate's Garden?

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Your Regional reporter

Kate Cospey regional reporter photo

Kate Copsey is an avid veggie gardener and writer.
She is a board member of the Garden Writer's Association. She authored 2 books: The Downsized Veggie Garden (Feb 2016) and New York & New Jersey Month by Month Gardening is due out Aug 2016.

Well nature decided that winter was still on the calendar and the mild winter yet again came to an abrupt halt with snow and cold temperatures – so much for thinking winter was over! The bonus though is that although the temperature is cold, the skies are clear blue and sunny so as March arrives the snow does not stay around too long.
My favorite part of March is the arrival of green in the garden – early daffodils start growing, perennials show some slow return to life and buds swell on spring blooming shrubs. All the flowers of spring attract early pollinators and many, such as the iris reticulate are fragrant too. If you didn’t get round to planting some of the lovely spring blooms, make a note to order some next fall, and check where your snow first melts. The snow first melts in little pockets where winter sunshine warms the area which makes this a perfect place to put your earliest blooming bulbs. Putting a few bulbs in a container means that you can position it right on the patio in spring sunshine.

Iris reticulate

Early daffodils in a container

March is also when I start some early seeds. Sweet peas are put outside directly in the garden while lettuce seeds are sown indoors. I love the smaller seed starting sets that sit directly on a sunny windowsill. Add a few expandable core pellets to the windowsill set, add water to expand then seeds – no mess with filling plastic containers with damp potting mix! Even better, the cores plus seedling go directly into the ground in spring so there is no plastic trays to discard into the trash.

Windowsill growing kit

Core pellets

Last year I made up some containers indoors and grew peas in them. On days when the temperatures outside were mild, the container went outside and back indoors on frosty nights. Eventually the peas stayed outside. The peas arrived several weeks before the ones outside were harvestable.

Peas indoors

Mature peas in container