Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

March Planting Tips- Warm with a Chance of Hail! And Two Events Coming Up

Dear Folks,

Hail?  Yes I know.  Hail sounds like a strange weather possibility as we go into even warmer times.

With the global weather weirding we have been having since fall, up / down temperatures with an even warmer winter, my garden journals have shown a possibility for hail in March, July and Fall.  This is caused by a combination of cool and warm air masses colliding as we move into Spring and other seasonal transition times, coupled with winds shifting.  So - have your frost protection handy for the possibility of hail.  You don't want your seedlings and tender transplants flattened to the ground with hail.

We also can have the odd frost in late February and into mid-March here in the valley, so again, keep the frost protection handy until all danger of frost (or hail) is over.

The poor man's cloche, cardboard boxes or even plastic lawn chairs can protect your plants from hail and soft frost.  [Pictured: Note the caps off the "cloche".  In this instance I was leaving the jugs in place and taking the caps off allows built up heat to vent.]

As we transition from cool weather loving plants into the warm weather loving ones, keep in mind tomatoes, basil etc. like their "feet" warm.  The odd cool days as we typically transition into the 90s by end of March and beginning of April, can actually "stall" growth of these warm soil lovers.  Don't fret.  They simple take a break from growing when the soil temporarily cools.  Once the soil warms again and continues they will again start robust growth.

March Planting

Artichoke, Jerusalem
Artichoke, Globe
Basil, Plant or seed
Bay, Greek aka Sweet
Bean, Lima
Beans, Snap
Beans, Soy (March 15th)
Bee Balm
Catnip, Plant or Seed
Chives, Garlic, Plant or seed
Chives, Onion, Plant or seed
English Daisy
Epazote, Plant or seed
Lemon Grass
Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena
Marigolds including ,Citrus Scented (Tagetes Nelsonii), Tangerine Scented (Tagetes Lemonii)
Melons, Winter
Melons, Musk
Onions, Green
Oregano, Mexican
Oregano, Greek
Perilla, Plant or Seed
Scented Geraniums
Squash, Winter
Summer Squash
Sweet Alyssum
Tarragon, Mexican
Tarragon, French

    If you are just now thinking about planting, see Flower Mulching technique. And run, do not walk, to purchase a water meter from your favorite garden nursery.  The gallop into high heat can occur this month with such rapidity that we can go 70 to 95 in 30 days. (In a rare occurrence, we hit a 100 one year on March 29th.)
    Get a jump on spring with weed cleanup.  Some pests breed on the winter weeds and can launch an incredible attack (a type of gnat can assume locus swarm proportions), which may cover everything light or white in color, plants, flowers, buildings, even clothes drying on the line.
    Perennial herbs will be starting to flower by end of March / beginning of April.  If you use thyme, marjoram, oregano or any of the trailing herbs as ground covers, enjoy the blooms, then give them a hair cut.  Remember the flowers are edible!
    The pest bugs like our mild weather too with aphids a particular pest.  SAFE Soap Spray for aphids: 1 tsp each vegetable oil and Dawn to 1 quart of water.  Spray every 5 days at sunset at least 3 times.  DO NOT MISS a follow up spraying - spraying once will not take care of the aphid problem.  The 1st gets the active adults, the 2nd one picks up the just hatched and missed ones and 3rd one gets the stragglers.

Flower Mulching Technique:  Imagine a 12 inch diameter circle.  Place your primary herb, vegetable or fruit plant in the middle and using 3-5 flowers from a six pack or 3-5 4 inch flowers plant very close to the primary plant staying within the imaginary 12 inches.  You can also plant the flowers first and then the primary plant, or you can use existing plantings to perform the same service.  Many of the flowers will survive to be used in salads etc. (which is why I choose seasonal edible flowers).  If the flower plants were not grown organically or without chemicals, wait 90 days before harvesting the flowers for food use.

Two Events Coming Up:

My FREE Seed Share and Q&A at Mesa Urban Garden - March 3rd, 11 a.m.

Click here for the event page.

The Arizona Herb Association is having their 2nd Annual Herb Festival February 24th, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This all day event includes speakers, activities, tours and lunch.

Click here for the event page and to purchase tickets.

If you enjoy my monthly planting tips, my all year calendar is available for sale to have handy whenever you need to check on when to plant, regular maintenance and some recipes to encourage you!


My Publisher

Have a great time in the garden and Kitchen!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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