Fire Mountain Garden Exchange


March Plantings by Editor
March 8, 2009, 6:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am late, I apologize, too much golf this last week. Well it looks like we got cheated out of rain again! I am in the middle of deciding which part of the property will be sacrificed to the great water god, MWD. Still we need to eat good vegetables; I know I will water mine even if it means the lawn has to get a nice brown summer patina.

Once again we go back to the well of knowledge that was Charles Ledgerwood (for those of you who are not familiar with the “Seed man of Carlsbad, please refer the archived monthly notes) For the lamb like month of March, Mr. Ledgerwood recommended: (For the best planting months names are capitalized)
Asparagus, BEANS, BEETS, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, chives, cabbage, CARROTS, cantaloupe, collards, corn, cucumbers, egg plant, endive, kohl rabi, lima beans, okra, peas, mustard, onion, PARSLEY, parsnip, peppers, POTATOES, RADISH, rutabaga, spinach, SQUASH, SWISS CHARD, turnips and tomatoes.

Our area is most excellent for growing beans and this is a great time to start. We grow pole beans on bamboo that we cut in our yard. I make a little mound of soil, hollow out a bowl in the center, stick four poles tilting away from each other in the ground and plant a sprouted bean near the bottom of each pole. The dirt basin makes for easy watering and feeding. Having the poles angled makes the beans easy to find. You can tie the poles together with twine if one starts to lean too far out, from the weight of the crop. Potatoes grow particularly well here too and they are so easy. Let a couple of store bought potatoes grow ‘eyes’ in a dark drawer, quarter them and put directly in the ground or in a pot (we use 5 or 15 gallon nursery pots); when the foliage withers, carefully dig up the little spuds. We have tried to plant tomatoes in March and the results have been spotty. Unless the month is uniformly warm (this one obviously isn’t) the plants seem to stagnate and when it warms up the growth is unimpressive. We now hold out until mid April.

There are myriad flowers to plant this month, but you may have to do some research on drought tolerance, again Sunset’s Western Outdoor Gardens is a great resource. It can also be used to identify the flowers as well. The recommended (with no judgment for water usage) flowers are:
Acroclinum, alyssum, ageratum, aquilegia, armeria, asters, asparagus ferns, balsam, basil, bells of Ireland, calendula, campanula, candytuft, carnation, centaurea, clarkia, cobea, coleus, coreopsis, calliopsis, cynoglosum, cosmos, dahlia, daisies, delphinium, dianthus, 4 o’clocks, dusty miller, foxglove, fountain grass, gaillardia, gazania, gloriossa daisy, germanium, godetia, gypsophila, helichrysum, hollyhock, hunnemania, impatiens, larkspur, lavender, linaria, linum, lobelia, lupin, marigold, myotosis, nasturtium, nemesia, nemophila, nicotinia, passiflora, phlox, paetunia, platycodon, rubeckia, salpiglosis, salvia, scabiosa, statice, schizanthus, sweet peas, sweet sultan, sweet William, thumbergia, viola, torenia, verbena, sunflower, vendium, verginia stock, vinca, wallflower and wildflowers.

If you plant basil, make sure to do succession planting timed to produce with your tomatoes.

Good gardening!

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