March 30, 2024

Garden Notes: March 2023

March is peach blossom month


    • 1st: 2.44"
    • 6th: 1.65"
    • 8th: 0.2"
    • 9th: 1.48"
    • 15th: 0.37"
    • 22nd: 0.73"
    • 23rd: 0.15"
    • 26th: 0.77"
    • Total: 7.79 inches
    • range of nighttime lows: 27 to 55°F (-3 to 13°C)
    • range of daytime highs: 40 to 79°F (4.4 to 26°C)
    Weather Notes
    • We've had beautiful spring days with enough frosty mornings to not get too eager on spring planting.
    Garden Notes
    • Weeds are thriving!
    • Most of my time in the garden has been spent scraping grass and weeds from the aisles, and remulching them.
    • I discovered some volunteer potatoes in last year's potato bed. Frost has killed the tops back, but they're making another valiant appearance. 
    • Planting activity this month has mostly been spot-seeding the goats' paddocks. 
    • collards (direct sow)
    • Swiss chard (seed tray)
    • slicing tomatoes (seed tray)
    • sweet potato squash (pots)
    • kale seedlings
    • rugosa roses
    • daffodils
    • grape hyacinth


    • lettuce
    • broccoli
    • kale
    • chickweed
    • turnips
    • carrots
    • asparagus

    Keyhole garden with multiplier onions, garlic, and lettuce.

    We're getting occasional asparagus, very tasty and very welcome.

    Dan planted a bed of carrots and turnips last fall, and this is all the carrots he got.

    carrot and dried cranberry salad

    snow peas, lettuce, and violets

    strawberries blooming

    In a couple of weeks I can start outdoor planting in earnest. I'm looking forward to that. Anybody else?

    Sneak Peek


    Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

    I have started looking up "Urban Gardening". We will have a small balcony we can use, although I have no idea of the amount of sun yet.

    Ed said...

    We have started our spring planting in earnest. We already have lettuce and peas up. Yesterday we replanted the radishes and planted a lot more peas, carrots, basil, parsnips, onions and potatoes. We also have peppers and tomatoes started in the greenhouse though they haven't sprouted quite yet. Like you, I'm holding off on the warm weather stuff like green beans for a few more weeks anyway until the last frost is behind us.

    I haven't made the round of our fruit trees yet.

    On my to do list in the coming weeks is to plant our first berries somewhere behind our home and to start a new asparagus bed. I'm going to have to do without asparagus for a couple years after 25 years of having more than I could eat. I'm not looking forward to that.

    Quinn said...

    We're having the kind of weather that makes me glad I didn't take a chance on planting anything yet. Snaps like yours make me doublecheck the calendar though - so beautiful to see plants growing and thriving :) Leigh, may I ask what seed you are planting in your goat paddocks this year? I'm hoping to hand-sow potential goat grub, but the low sunlight is a stumbling-block for most plants I think of trying. I don't mind putting in the effort - desperation is a strong driving force! - but I don't want to waste money on seed that will have less than a 50% chance to take here.

    Leigh said...

    TB, that's a very good idea. You may already be aware of it, but there's an entire forum dedicated to urban gardening on Permies, The concept has become very popular.

    Ed, you've got busy days ahead! I know the new garden site will be extra work at first, but in the long run it will be so much more convenient having it so close. Looking forward to your new adventures. :)

    Quinn, I learned the "not too early" lesson the hard way!

    For pasture, I tried for years to establish a diverse perennial polyculture pasture, and for years I've failed. This has mostly to do with our hot dry spells in summer, it seems very few of the things I wanted to grow are suited to that. This year I decided to go with what everyone else grows around here, fescue. I know all about fescue endophytes, but also that research shows that goats tolerate it better than other species. I'm still going for diversity as I can, with annual rye, clover, forbs, etc, but so far, the fescue is growing very well. I'm still trying to figure out if I feel defeated about this, or maybe I've wised up by going with what the land is willing to grow. Not sure if that would work for you in your area, but researching local pasture seed might help.

    daisy g said...

    Babies! They've arrived! They look very alert and lively!

    It seems that you have such consistent rainfall. Love the keyhole garden.
    I've not had a lot of luck growing carrots, but I'm not giving up!

    Continued blessings...

    Leigh said...

    Daisy, yes, babies! River's twins arrived on Friday and Ursa delivered triplets yesterday. I hope to have a picture post in a couple of days to officially share the news!

    It's curious that you've had trouble growing carrots too. We only had a really good crop the year Dan added sand to the soil. I was dubious because our topsoil is basically a sandy loam, but they did really well. Maybe the loam part was the problem. It does tend to harden the ground to concrete consistency when it dries out.

    Quinn said...

    Thanks very much for sharing your experience Leigh. I'm trying to get local advice but so far it's all been theoretical. Maybe I'll try our extension service though they've been less than useful in the past.

    Leigh said...

    Quinn, yeah, theoretical doesn't always pan out in reality. It's a good starting place for researching practical experience though. The extension service is a good idea. Hopefully, you'll get solid answers there.

    Rosalea said...

    Wow! Those yummy greens, beautiful carrots. Bet that salad was delicious. Looking forward to the kid pictures.

    Leigh said...

    Rosalea, thanks!

    Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

    You are lucky to be getting asparagus right now. It's a bit early for us in our area. Maybe in May or some years late April. I have been keeping an eye out for spring wild violets. I'm still hesitating making the jelly with them this year.

    Leigh said...

    Kristina, I have to say that this is the earliest I've ever harvested asparagus. And it isn't much, even after planting a bunch of new plants two years ago. Maybe a flush is yet to come. I hope so!

    I made wild violet jelly one year. It was a fun experiment and I loved the color. It was a lot of work, though, so I never repeated it because it wasn't a distinct enough flavor. It makes a great gift.

    Nina said...

    Yay babies! How many more do you need to wait for?
    I could probably plant some greens outside but we still have a lot of frost days normally. Peas and lettuce greens can go in early and survive the frosts, but they tend to be slow growing because of the variable weather. This year with the very weird early spring weather and more rain, it might be better this year.

    CK said...

    After so long, it's been great to catch up with your first post in the garden. I really liked how your violets were helping to shade the lettuce and act as a living mulch. It confuses the moths that want to lay their eggs at this time of year too. Food source for the predators who will decimate the caterpillars later on and early support for general pollinators.

    So a really clever combo for stacking functions of: pest control/living mulch/temperature regulation/soil mycelium structure root-network underground/food harvest and beauty/inspiration to get into the garden and do more! If you can't tell, I was really impressed with what you did in that little space, with some thoughtful design.

    Leigh said...

    Nina, the day after River had her twins, Ursa gave birth to triplets. As soon as I can get through my mound of photos, I'll blog about them!

    We're all hoping for a better year! Trouble is, conditions today give us no clue about what to expect a couple of months down the road. :)

    CK, good to hear from you! Learning how to cooperate with my garden (rather than trying to coax/coerce it into cooperating it with me) has taken awhile to learn. I'm still learning! It really helps in so many ways though.