Fire Mountain Garden Exchange

March Rant by Editor
March 3, 2011, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Fruits, Natives, Uncategorized, Vegetables

What a difference a couple of years make. Looking back at previous planting missives I noted the lack of rainfall in late February. We sure can’t say that now. I have had my sprinklers off for quite a while. Of course we all know that one Santa Ana can take away two weeks of rain.

Right now we are still eating fresh lettuce every night, not so many peas as I had a really weak crop this year and I still have onions and arugula to add to the salad. We still have lots of tomato sauce and basil pesto I froze last summer too.

It has been almost as cold as I can remember here, maybe 1985 was colder as it froze in our back yard and that has yet to happen this year. That means that if we are going to start anything in early March we should consider protection from the elements. In our area I have always found that a thin tent of clear or white plastic works fine. If you have the little plastic domes those are great and I have used sheets of bubble wrap as well to cover seed beds.

Pole beans

I will be getting a couple of spots in my garden ready for pole beans of several varieties, They grow like crazy here and are great fresh, steamed and my favorite, pickled in dill. They are easy to grow, just make a round damn in a open spot, make a tee pee out of poles firmly set in the ground and tied together at the top. Plant four beans per damn and away you go. Early light feeding with a fish based fertilizer will make for a great crop.

On the subject of tomatoes, be careful in March. I have mentioned this before, the temperature is unpredictable. If you plant early and we get a cold spell I would yank out the ones you have and start over. I have never had a good crop come from a plant that has been through cold. I prefer to wait until April. Tomatomania will be coming up soon in Encinitas on March 19 – 20. I have also been very happy with Green Thumb Nursery in San Marcos, they have a great selection.

I would like to repeat my lesson from looking at Vietnamese truck farms. They grow everything in seed beds then transplant. They get huge amounts of produce out of a little space. I am going t start basil and beets this week, the basil in a one gallon pot, the beets in a flat, they should be ready to transplant in early April.

Hope it warms up and rains more.

Go out and get your hands dirty


March Plantings by Editor
March 2, 2011, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Fruits, Vegetables

For the 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.

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.