As the majority of us are looking forward to the first day of spring, March is the time many of us are getting our gardens prepared. Some of our selections can be planted outdoors depending on the hardiness zone you live in or started indoors. If you live in an area where there is a chance the temperatures can drop, make sure you keep a light blanket or grow cloth handy. Cover your plants at night if it drops below freezing.
Here are 6 plants that you can start growing in March:
Knock Out Roses – Early spring is the best time to plant Knock Out Roses. These Roses have been bred to specifically address historic challenges that come from growing roses. The most important feature of this plant is its resistance to fungal diseases. Most roses are susceptible to fungal diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew and while Knock Out Roses are not totally immune they are highly resistant to them. Another advantage of this line of roses is their vigorous blooming habit. In many parts of the US, they start blooming in May and flower until October and November. They also are self-cleaning, meaning you do not need to remove the flowers when they die they just fall off on their own. If you decide to remove the flowers, it will speed up the blooming of more flowers. Knock Out Roses can be used as hedges or border plants. They require six hours of sun each day and benefit from monthly fertilization. One of the drawbacks of this plant was the limited colors being produced. This problem has been alleviated over the past few years more colors have been added. They have been found to be winter hardy, requiring only a good layer of mulch for winter protection, and have survived as far as zone 4. Read more about Knock Out Roses here.
Dianthus - Dianthus are also called pinks and there are both annual and perennial varieties of this pretty flower. Most grow 1 to 2 feet tall and the flowers come in pink, red, salmon, white, or even combinations of these colors. Perennial Dianthus stay evergreen all year-round and even the annual varieties will stick around for a few years if they are planted in a spot that they like. Dianthus prefers soil that drains well and is on the dry side. They should be planted in full to part-sun conditions and work equally well in containers as they do in flower beds. Deadheading will encourage a longer blooming period and keeps the plants looking neat. See a previous post we wrote on Dianthus.
Broccoli – Broccoli is a cool weather plant that can be grown in spring or fall. This is another vegetable that you can start growing indoors. Broccoli is highly nutritious that is a great source of Vitamin A, Potassium, Folic Acid, Iron, and fiber. The plant needs to be in a location that requires full sun for 6 to 8 hours per day. If it does not get enough sun it will produce thin, leggy plants and subpar heads. Be prepared as the plant takes a long time to mature. It is advised to fertilize the plants three weeks after transplanting your seedlings in the garden. Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer. Get more Tips on Growing Broccoli.
Peas – The key to growing great Peas is to plant them in the early spring so they can mature when the weather is cool. Peas are one of the first vegetable crops planted in the spring. They can be grown in hardiness zones 3 – 11. The seeds can be sown in ground as soon as the soil can be worked. This means the plants are safe even if snow falls after you plant them. Peas are divided into two categories. One is Shelling Peas, which means the Peas are grown in a pod and then taken out of the pod to eat and the other is Edible Podded Peas where the entire pod and Pea are eaten. The most difficult challenge to growing Peas is deciding which variety to grow. For more information on Growing Peas, please check out this post.
Zucchini - Zucchini is a member of the Squash family and is related to Cucumbers, Pumpkins, and Melons. This is a plant that you can start growing indoors now unless you are in a warmer climate. I don’t know that I’ve ever grown a plant that produces as much fruit as this plant. It seems like the more you pick the more you get which means you’ll have plenty to share with everybody else! It prefers full sun and well-drained soil and its big leaves can help shade the roots of other plans such as Corn or Sunflowers. It prefers warm soil and air temperatures and will grow quickly once the weather heats up in late spring and summer. The flowers are edible too and can be fried or stuffed with cheese. Yum! Get our tips on Growing Zucchini
Sage - Sage is a perennial herb that grows best in garden zones 5 through 8 and whose origins go back for more than a millennium. It was used as part of a tonic to ward off the plague, was considered a “holy herb”, and was included in many Roman religious ceremonies and along with Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme are considered one of the 4 essential herbs in British cooking and cuisine. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall with up to a 3-foot spread which often gives Sage the appearance of a shrub. While it is most frequently known for its role in Thanksgiving dishes the leaves of its variegated varieties are popular ornamental plants too. It grows in full sun and must have soil that drains well. Too much water can kill the plant.
Let us know what you plan on growing this month!