March Garden Plans


Okay, so we're actually in the middle of a(nother) Winter Storm Warning. Albeit one that is, for once, quite a bit lighter than predicted.

But, nonetheless, it is March. And peeking over at my handy vegetable planting guide provided by Gateway Greening, I see lots of activity starting in March. Along with the rest of the country, I am anticipating the explosion of outdoor activities, and happiness, that the highly anticipated spring will bestow upon us. For me, that particularly means making things grow.

This year I expect I’ll have to tack a couple weeks onto the traditional planting dates because of the bitter cold. But that means that very soon, peas go in the ground. They can handle some snow and they hate the heat. With our luck, we’ll transition smoothly and quickly to some freak heat wave like we experienced two years ago. Time will tell.

Peas first. Then lettuces, and the cole crops like broccoli and cabbage. (Side note: I definitely used to think the term was “cold crops” because, you know, they liked the cold.) Beets and carrots. Radishes and turnips. I could be eating fresh salad in 45 days give or take. Just as important, I’ll be digging into fresh, if cold, soil in a couple weeks. There are few things better.

Unlike last year, I am not starting any seeds indoors. I don’t really have the room in my new apartment and I’m planning to move apartments again. The greenhouse at Washington University has traditionally had a seedling sale on Mother’s day and I am hoping to snag some vegetable seedlings there in May. With my move I may have two gardens going on simultaneously, if I am that much of a masochist. I am getting a jump on early spring planting in my current space. But I certainly hope to find another community garden or have access to a yard wherever I move to continue the warm summer crops.

Although maintaining two gardens in two different locations in the city is probably well beyond my organizational skills, it is a good opportunity to learn more about gardening more quickly than I otherwise would be able to. That is one frustrating thing about gardening, you only get one shot each year.

My other outlet will be helping the Bell Demonstration Garden on Saturdays. I started volunteering last summer and hope to do so again starting this spring. Yet another opportunity to learn from people who really know what they’re doing in the garden.

I’ll update on the garden throughout the season and I hope that documenting it will allow me to reflect on what does and does not work!