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Mid-South: March 2016

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Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/1/2016, 8:07 am

Oh, goodness... I can't believe it'a already March 1st....

Yesterday I finally managed to get my seedlings up-potted. I've been trying to get there for a week now, lol! Got everything done except the onions. I'm going to do a whole bunch more seeding today.

I was hoping to get into the garden yesterday & get some more of the wreckage out from not doing fall cleanup in 2014, but didn't make it. Hopefully I'll get out there before the rain hits this afternoon.

So learn from my mistakes - it's easier (MUCH easier) to get stuff out while it's small!

What is everyone doing in their garden this month? I've got cleanup, planting, fixing my drip hoses, installing my Christmas present of everything I need for putting up plastic to warm things up & tulle for protecting from nasty buggies...

According to Gardenate.com, here's what we can be doing in zone 7b. There's a LOT:


Angelica Plant in garden. Harvest from 18 months.
Artichokes (Globe) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from February.
Asparagus Plant in garden. Harvest from 24 months.
Basil Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Beetroot (also Beets) Plant in garden. Harvest from June.
Broccoli Plant in garden. Harvest from June.
Brussels sprouts Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Cabbage Plant in garden. Harvest from June.
Capsicum (also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Carrot Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Cauliflower Plant in garden. Harvest from August.
Celeriac Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Chilli peppers (also Hot peppers) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Chives (also Garden chives) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Collards (also Collard greens, Borekale) Plant in garden. Harvest from June.
Coriander (also Cilantro, Chinese parsley) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from May.
Eggplant (also Aubergine) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Endive Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Fennel (also Bronze fennel) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Florence Fennel (also Finocchio) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
French tarragon Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from May.
Garlic Plant in garden. Harvest from August.
Horseradish Plant in garden. Harvest from August.
Kale (also Borecole) Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Leeks Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Lemon Balm (also Sweet balm, ) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Lettuce Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Luffa (also Loofah, plant sponge) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Marrow Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Mizuna (also Japanese Greens, Mitzuna, Mibuna) Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Mustard greens (also gai choy) Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Okra (also Ladyfinger, gumbo) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Onion Plant in garden. Harvest from October.
Oregano (also Pot Marjoram) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from May.
Parsley (also curly leaf parsley or flat leaf (Italian) parsley) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Parsnip Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from August.
Peas Plant in garden. Harvest from June.
Potato Plant in garden. Harvest from August.
Pumpkin Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from July.
Radish Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Rockmelon (also Canteloupe) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Rosemary Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from 12 months.
Sage (also Common Sage) Plant in garden. Harvest from 18 months.
Salsify (also Vegetable oyster) Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Savory - winter savory (also Savory) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from May.
Shallots (also Eschalots) Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Silverbeet (also Swiss Chard or Mangold) Plant in garden. Harvest from June.
Snow Peas (also Sugar Peas, Mangetout, Chinese Peas) Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Spinach (also English spinach) Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Spring onions (also Scallions, Bunching onions, Welsh onion) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Squash (also Crookneck, Pattypan, Summer squash) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Strawberries (from seeds) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from 12 months.
Strawberry Plants Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Sweet corn (also maize) Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Thyme (also Common thyme) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from February.
Tomato Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Turnip Plant in garden. Harvest from May.
Watermelon Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from June.
Yam/Oka (also Oca) Plant in garden. Harvest from July.
Zucchini (also Courgette/Marrow, Summer squash) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Harvest from May.

Johnny's Seeds has a succession calendar for filling in those blank spots once you pull something. It's an Excel spreadsheet. You can find it in the middle of the page here:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-online-tools-calculators.aspx

Here's some advice from Rodale's Organic Life:

March is one of the loveliest and most productive months in the Zone 7 garden. You can plant cool season veggies this month, but wait until April before putting out tomatoes and planting beans.

Our local 4H agent is selling blueberries and strawberry plants as a fundraiser. Both are excellent choices for edible landscapes, plus 4H and other youth gardening and farming opportunities are well worth supporting. Check around for similar programs where you live. Happy gardening!

Planting Preparation. It's time to plant cool spring vegetables, including broccoli, lettuce, spinach, greens, cabbage, chard and root crops, and cool season flowers like snaps and calendulas. You can still plant onion sets, peas and potatoes.

Seed Starting. It's time to start tomatoes, peppers and eggplants indoors, along with flowers like zinnias and cosmos. Wait to set out or plant warm season crops until next month (April 15 in our area).

Woody Plants. Before woody plants break dormancy and as they begin to bud out, take care of pruning chores and applications of preventatives such as dormant oil.

Preparing Beds. Prepare your garden beds deeply and well, especially for vegetables. However, don't try to work the soil—with spade, fork or tiller—until the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hand. Especially with our clay soils, be careful not to work them when wet. (Remember this is for vegetables only—most of the garden does not need regular tilling.).

Direct Seeding. Direct seed mustard, lettuce, spinach, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots (don't delay), onion sets, chard, mâche, mesclun, and Asian vegetables (try gai lan, 'Chinese flowering broccoli', it's great and easy.). Anything that prefers cool weather and grows fairly fast.

Keep an Eye on Floating Row Covers. You may want to pull them back on unseasonably warm days, but don't remove them from the garden. Next thing you know it we'll have a freeze and you'll need them again.

Keep Pruning. Continue pruning fruit trees, landscape trees and shrubs. Remove dead or broken branches, crossing branches that rub another branch, and all dead and diseased wood. Also trim flowering shrubs like Forsythia and Japanese Camellia after they bloom.

Apple Health. Check with your extension agent to see when and if you need to treat your apple and pear blossoms with organically-approved agricultural streptomycin if fireblight is present in your area. Pears are extremely susceptible.

Flower Starting. Start warm season flowers like zinnias, marigolds and cosmos, along with any flowers you can't find in your local nurseries. Start perennial flowers now, too, like hollyhocks, Monarda, and many others. Set out any cool season flowers, like phlox, calendulas and snaps, that you started next month.

Don't Forget to Deadhead. Deadhead daffodils when blooms droop, but leave the leaves alone. Daffies need their leaves to recharge the bulbs for next year. Cut them back in a few weeks, after they turn brown. Deadhead those pansies, they will bloom longer and look better if you do. They also appreciate a feeding with fish emulsion or another organic fertilizer this month.

Start Mowing Fescue Again. Tall fescue needs to be at least 3 inches in height to outcompete the weeds. Mow at least once a week, never removing more that 1/3 of the leaf. The easiest way to handle the clippings is by grasscycling (i.e. leaving clippings on the lawn). Sometimes, the lawn generates so many clippings in the spring that I'll rake up a load and mix them into my compost.

Happy Houseplants. Repot any houseplants that need it in a good potting mix. Don't use an overly big pot, just graduate your pot up a step. If you've been rooting cuttings of Creeping Charlie, begonias, or other houseplants, plant them into pots when you see roots have forms.


So, let's get busy & have some fun!!

Happy Gardening

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/1/2016, 3:33 pm

You know, I don't think that I've EVER mowed the grass on March 1 in the 20 years we've lived in this house... But it sure needed it.

Mid-70's here today although we're supposed to get a storm in shortly. The temps are dropping again rapidly and the wind has picked up tremendously. I think I got done just in time.

AND I got in the garden & did some of that cleanup. And mowed in there as well.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  mschaef on 3/2/2016, 9:31 am

We were also enjoying the nice weather yesterday. My boys found our seeds and ask if we could plant some. I foresee a trip to the garden shop in our near future to get some pots. Hope the storms were not that bad for you. We just got rain and thunder.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/2/2016, 12:17 pm

Same here, thanks. And it's pretty today although I haven't been outside yet to see the temps...

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/4/2016, 8:29 am

We had a meeting south of here yesterday afternoon. It was in the mid-40's when we arrived. By the time we left 2 hours later, temps had dropped 10 degrees and it was raining hard. By the time we got home, it was JUST above freezing & ice was on a truck in the driveway.

And we'll be back in the upper 60's by tomorrow...

Welcome to the south.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  Kelejan on 3/5/2016, 10:23 pm

We all have our problems, don't we?

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/6/2016, 7:44 am

Yes, we do, lol! Amazing what's happening in different parts of the country...

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Hi fellow Atlanta person :)

Post  mikki777 on 3/8/2016, 10:07 am

I am brand new to the boards and to gardening and glad to see an Atlanta advice area. Smile We moved here from Los Angeles, so the weather is very different. But I never gardened there anyway. 

When you do your seedlings do you use the same Mel's mix or just potting soil to start? I'll be doing one 4 by 4 raised garden box. Like you, I think I should start my indoor pots beyond the herbs I already have growing. Smile

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  yolos on 3/8/2016, 9:57 pm

@mikki777 wrote:I am brand new to the boards and to gardening and glad to see an Atlanta advice area. Smile We moved here from Los Angeles, so the weather is very different. But I never gardened there anyway. 

When you do your seedlings do you use the same Mel's mix or just potting soil to start? I'll be doing one 4 by 4 raised garden box. Like you, I think I should start my indoor pots beyond the herbs I already have growing. Smile
A lot of SFGers use the Mel's Mix to start their seedlings.  I use a combination of bagged seed starting mixes.  I mix them all up to get a varied medium.  Jiffy, Vigaro, etc.  Then add a little perilite and fine vermiculite.  Works for me.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/10/2016, 7:31 am

Hi Mikki777. Welcome to the ATL! And welcome to the forum!

Sorry it's taken so long to answer you. Was out of town on business. Had horrible connections!

The last couple of years, I've started my plants in those Jiffy peat pellets that you soak in water till they swell up. But there's really no nutrients in them. When I up-pot, I use what I have on hand. This year, I found some potting mix, so I'm using that. But when I mix up some more MM, I'll save a good hunk and use it next year for seedlings.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/16/2016, 7:56 pm

The bumbles are pollinating my blueberries, the peach trees are in full bloom, my tulips are coming up, the daffies & dandy lions are all up & showing their colors.

My seedlings are about ready to get acclimated. And DH says he's going to help me in the garden.... :-0

It looks like we MIGHT get a bit of a freeze this weekend, but then that's it... 35 on Sunday, 38 on Monday and up from there!

DH & I stopped by Wallyworld this afternoon and found Earthgro humus/compost mix for less than $2/bag & Ecoscraps compost for just under $5/bag. Woo-Hoo!

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  sanderson on 3/17/2016, 4:12 am

cheers

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  yolos on 3/17/2016, 10:01 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
It looks like we MIGHT get a bit of a freeze this weekend, but then that's it...  35 on Sunday, 38 on Monday and up from there!
Yep, it doesn't look good for Sunday and Monday.  My forecast says a low of 35 sunday and 33*F on Monday.  So I will be waiting until after the soil warms back up again after Monday to plant out my peppers and tomatoes.  Beds are prepared and ready to go.

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Good grief!

Post  Windmere on 3/17/2016, 2:10 pm

Three seasons of experience out here has taught me that, in my neck of the woods, it's not a bad idea to baby my seedlings till the last week in May.  Plus, I need to free up space where my garlic is now (I have full 4x4 worth).  Good grief... what freaky weather Sunday and Monday.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/17/2016, 3:20 pm

I managed to get back out there this morning & pulled more weeds/grass/roots. Got the seedlings in the sun for a couple of hours getting hardened off. Listened to the birds fussing with each other. Had a wood pecker out the last couple of day looking for bugs. I hear him all over the neighborhood.

What a gorgeous day!

Cape Coddess - I have stevia!! One seed out of the 5 or 6 I stuck in that peat pot has germinated. Yea...!

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/17/2016, 4:03 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
Cape Coddess - I have stevia!!  One seed out of the 5 or 6 I stuck in that peat pot has germinated.  Yea...!

cheers
When you said you planted 5 or 6 way back when, I meant to reply, "you need more like 20" but I must have been distracted and forgot. But 1 is a great start! Keep it going and you'll get more seeds from it eventually. And who knows, maybe the rest will sprout.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/17/2016, 6:16 pm

Actually, the seeds I planted are from the Bonnie's plant in 2014. So, woo-hoo!!! We'll see what happens....

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/23/2016, 7:55 am

Silly weatherpeople... "It's going to be in the 40's for everyone tomorrow morning. No 30's!"

Uh-huh.... 35, lol!

And a GORGEOUS full moon still up at 7 am!

NOAA says that it's going to be in the upper 60's today & only down to the low 50's tonight. I'm hoping it's finally over, although I am seeing 40's later in the week.

I'm also seeing some low's in the lower 40's through the beginning of May according to Accuweather's extended forecast.

I've got pumpkins taking over the shelves, and very unhappy (crowded) tomatoes & onions ready to go in the ground.

How's everyone else in Mid-South doing? Planting anything yet?

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/23/2016, 10:40 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:

I've got pumpkins taking over the shelves, and very unhappy (crowded) tomatoes & onions ready to go in the ground.

Photos please? I'm chompin at the bit here....
bounce
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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  yolos on 3/23/2016, 3:42 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
How's everyone else in Mid-South doing?  Planting anything yet?

Waiting, waiting, waiting.  My tomatoes need to be planted soon or up potted to a bigger pot.  I have peppers ready to go in the ground.  While I wait, I think I will plant some New Zealand Spinach and Malibar Spinach in cell packs while I wait.  Just started some Amaranth (sp).  I will direct sow most other things.  

My average last frost date is March 28.  Last frost date is April 15.  So I will plant somewhere in between those dates.  I have Agribon and 6 mil plastic but I think my plants will grow just about as well in their pots.  They are outside all day and I only bring them in if it is going to be below 50*F at night.

I planted broccoli, peas, potatoes and chard a couple weeks ago.  I fall planted leeks, garlic, onions, spinach, fava beans, carrots and shallots so I still have a lot going on in the garden.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  Windmere on 3/25/2016, 10:17 am

@yolos wrote:
@AtlantaMarie wrote:
How's everyone else in Mid-South doing?  Planting anything yet?

Waiting, waiting, waiting.  My tomatoes need to be planted soon or up potted to a bigger pot.  I have peppers ready to go in the ground.  While I wait, I think I will plant some New Zealand Spinach and Malibar Spinach in cell packs while I wait.  Just started some Amaranth (sp).  I will direct sow most other things.  

My average last frost date is March 28.  Last frost date is April 15.  So I will plant somewhere in between those dates.  I have Agribon and 6 mil plastic but I think my plants will grow just about as well in their pots.  They are outside all day and I only bring them in if it is going to be below 50*F at night.

I planted broccoli, peas, potatoes and chard a couple weeks ago.  I fall planted leeks, garlic, onions, spinach, fava beans, carrots and shallots so I still have a lot going on in the garden.
Yolos, I love to hear about your plans and/or what you've already got going.  Frost date here is so tricky!  My tomatoes are going to need to be put in larger pots too.  I have garlic, onions and kale in my garden still. 

I think I made a fatal mistake with my garlic.  I never weeded it, well not till about early February.  All the bulbs are quite small as a result.  I wanted to ask:  Did you add some more compost to your garlic?  If you did, when did you (or when are you going to).

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  yolos on 3/25/2016, 1:17 pm

So far the only thing I have done to my garlic is add some blood meal about 2 weeks ago.  They look fairly good but not as good as last year.  The stems do not seem to be as thick.  We shall see.  

Most of my shallots died over the winter.  I don't think I am going to plant them again next year.  If I plant in the fall, many die.  If I plant in the spring, they don't get very big.  

Leeks are doing okay but for some reason they divided back in Dec and now I have two leeks growing next to each other.  This happened to about 75% of the leeks I planted in the fall (Bonnie Transplants).  I direct seeded some in the fall and just transplanted them to different parts of the garden to see what happens.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  Windmere on 3/25/2016, 2:14 pm

@yolos wrote:So far the only thing I have done to my garlic is add some blood meal about 2 weeks ago.  They look fairly good but not as good as last year.  The stems do not seem to be as thick.  We shall see.  

Most of my shallots died over the winter.  I don't think I am going to plant them again next year.  If I plant in the fall, many die.  If I plant in the spring, they don't get very big.  

Leeks are doing okay but for some reason they divided back in Dec and now I have two leeks growing next to each other.  This happened to about 75% of the leeks I planted in the fall (Bonnie Transplants).  I direct seeded some in the fall and just transplanted them to different parts of the garden to see what happens.
Ok, it's a bit reassuring to hear that your garlic is also on the small side (although I'm also sad for us).  Perhaps our recent roller coaster weather had something to do with it.

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/25/2016, 4:02 pm

Good to know about the garlic. I'm hoping to get some planted this fall.

CC - sorry, been quite busy. I'll TRY to get some photos!

Wisteria is in full bloom up here..... Gorgeous!

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Re: Mid-South: March 2016

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