FIRST WEEK OF MARCH!
Go get your seeds, transplants, any amendments that make you happy, clear your space, and go for it! Poke bean seeds in at the base of finishing peas, tomatoes, artichokes from transplants, corn, New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, summer and winter squash! [Pilgrim Terrace gardeners, those of you in the lottery section this year, get your winter squash in early so they have plenty of time to mature and harden on the vine.] If you have room and want to, plant last rounds of cool-season crops – broccoli (with cilantro & lettuce), cabbage, potatoes. Add more year-rounds, beets, carrots, chard, bunch onions, radish, turnips. Remember to leave space for your succession plantings!
True heat lovers next month – eggplant, limas, melons, okra, peppers and pumpkins. Wait, wait…you can do it. Unless you live in the foothills with a south facing wall, many wait to plant tomatoes until next month. That means if you haven’t already, get those babies started in the greenhouse to get a head start!
Keep in mind our June gloom that we had all summer last year. Think about planting heat lovers within a south facing ‘U’ shape of taller plants to give them more captured heat. The sides of the U act as a windbreak, and hold the heat in. You could wedge the U sides a little, angled like outspread wings. Maybe get more determinate toms, with different dates to maturity so you have a steady supply. The shorter determinates will be closer to the ground in your U shape ‘enclosure,’ and the whole plant will stay warmer. Be careful to plant far enough apart that the tomato leaves aren’t touching, lessening the spread of Verticillium and Fusarium wilts. Eggplants may especially like this warm U shaped environment because they like a little humidity. Plant them closer to the plants behind them so they can snuggle happily. If you plant in rows, stagger them one plant in from the end of a row. The outmost/endmost plants are usually drier. Just like with strawberries, don’t plant them right near a hot wicking wood bordered edge. The board heats, dries the neighboring soil. Strawberries like water, good drainage, not dry baked roots.
Or if you anticipate a coolish summer, just love winter plants, keep planting them!
Plant flowers, chamomile for tea, poppy for seeds, veggie starts (hot peppers), to give as Mother’s Day living gifts! That’s 9 weeks from now. Plant a little extra all the time for ready gifts for any occasion!