Thursday, March 4, 2010

March gardening tips

It's early March and it's been a pretty mild winter in Portland. I'm thinking the slugs are going to rampage this year. But that's a pretty negative way to begin this post now isn't it? I tend not to get too caught up with pests unless they're really going nuts on your business. But that's for later.

What to do in early March?

Finish any rose pruning. Cut back the dead, brown stuff. Now rake up that debris that's been sitting around your plants all winter and throw it in your yard debris bin. This debris can harbor insects and diseases. I like to make sure any diseased rose leaves are taken out of the yard-don't put them in the compost. They can carry fungal nasties like black spot.

Do a thorough spring weeding before the weeds really start to grow. A really good fall weeding and a good spring weeding go a long way.

Throw some compost down in your beds. Buy some bags of planting compost and scatter it. Even better, get some compost in bulk. You can go pick it up yourself if you have a truck-this is the cheapest way to get it. Around Portland, one yard of compost is about $30 to $40 bucks. (One yard will fill the bed of a small pick up like mine). If you have it delivered it'll cost about twice that. Is is worth is? Yes. Good soil is a great investment. Besides, if you just buy bags all year it adds up quickly. 10$ for 3 cubic feet of soil is expensive and it's not that much.

Start seeds indoors if you're so inclined. Even if you aren't, this is a lot cheaper and more fun than being lazy and grabbing some expensive starts at the grocery store. Don't go nuts buying seeds! It can be tempting to buy a bunch of seed packages, but really do you need ten different varieties of tomatoes? Be selective. Invest in some grow light if you so desire.

Later this month you can start sowing veggies directly into the ground. It's still a bit cold now, so hold off I'd say until the end of the month. We're still getting pretty cold nights. Late March is a good time to plant root crops like onions and potatoes.

This should keep you busy for a couple of weeks. Remember working in the garden is a good time to think about the garden.

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