March - What’s in Carol's Garden?

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Your Regional reporter

Carol Michel is a regional reporter photo

Carol Michel is a lifelong gardener and resident of Indiana with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture Production from Purdue University.
She regularly writes about her old books, hoes, and many other gardening related topics for Indiana Gardening and on her award-winning garden blog, She is the author of the recently released book Potted & Pruned: Living a Gardening Life.

I’ll admit by the time March rolls around, I am ready to get back into the garden and start working on my goal to make this year’s garden “the best garden ever.”

One of the first things I’ll do in March is head out to my local greenhouse to see if their pansies and violas are ready for planting out. I pot up several containers of these frost-tolerant flowers and have them on my front porch often before St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. I plant them in containers on my back patio, too, often with a few seedlings of peas like ‘Masterpiece’ which have lots of tendrils and provide a nice backdrop for the pansies.

Beautiful Pansies.

Lovely Violas.

Out in my vegetable garden, I plant peas on March 17th  because by then the soil temperature is always above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what pea seeds need to germinate. I know all is right in my world when I finish sowing peas early in the spring. I know the winter is just about over and the gardening season is now beginning. I’m a traditionalist, which is why I like to plant my peas on St. Patrick’s Day, and why I usually plant an old variety called “Green Arrow”, the same variety my dad used to plant.

Pea seedlings.

Soil thermometers provide soil temperature.

My backyard is the place for bees to be in the early springtime because I’ve planted thousands of crocuses for them to find. Later, the dandelions come up and the bees go crazy for them, too. After a few weeks of mowing, the dandelions start to disappear and clover flowers take their place. I don’t mind the flowers in my lawn, which I admit others might call weeds, because I like all the bees coming to my garden. It makes it feel alive and healthy.

Crocuses bloom in the lawn.

Dandelions in the lawn.