Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 7-8
March 1 to March 31-- Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.
Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:
By March the threat of frost has diminished, and the weather goes from cool to mild – but frost and 90-degree days can also happen, so the watch word for March is ‘Be Prepared’. March is the time to sow the last cool weather vegetables into the ground and transfer the seedlings from inside into your garden. Cool weather annuals like sweet peas can also be started outside in mid-March so that they mature and flower before the real heat arrives. Be prepared to cover seedlings with a shade cloth if the weather gets too hot too quickly and with a frost blanket for those cool nights.
Kate 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 (Aug 2016).
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Finally the ground in November is cool enough for milder areas to start planting bulbs for spring and perennial fruits for next year as well. The days are usually mild too making working in the garden a delight rather than a chore. Here are some November jobs for those lovely fall days.
1.) Seeds to start indoors in March.
1. All the heat loving plants should be started this month. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and eggplants all thrive in southern summers, so get them out there as soon as the soil is warm and the frosts are past.
2.) Pick your summer selections quickly.
2. New varieties are always in demand and sell out fast along with the customer favorites. Get the selections you want ordered early in March so that you are not disappointed.
3.) Get seedlings into the group carefully.
3. Seedling grown indoors and watered carefully have to be transitioned slowly into the garden. Breezes, bright sun and rain, not to mention cold nights, are all new to the seedlings and it takes a day or two to get them used to outdoor weather. Protection for several weeks might be needed to keep sun and frost off the seedlings. Lightweight frost protection also gives seedling protection from intense sun.
4.) Cool weather seeds for direct sowing in March.
4. Peas, lettuce, kales and onions can all be sown directly outdoors in March. Sow them all directly into the ground and keep the area damp until the seeds germinate. Onion can be sown as seeds or sets which mature quicker. Mix seeds and sets for a longer harvest.
5. From the time the little seedlings germinate in a tray to the time they are transplanted, they need fertilizing. Outdoor shrubs such as blueberries benefit from some added nutrients as they start to come out of winter dormancy. Be ready with a variety of fertilizers for the whole garden.