March has arrived and she's bringing Spring!! It may not seem like it now, but remember in like a lion and out like a lamb. Even though the weather is nasty, warmer days are on their way; we need to make sure our plants are ready for that warmer weather.
Here's what I got growing on in my garden this month.
P.S. I took the photos when it was very overcast outside and I feel like my camera was having a difficult time focusing.
This month I'll be watching my seedlings to see which of them have produced and which ones aren't doing to well and planting to fill in the gaps. I just recently planted Amethyst beans, Cherokee beans, Yardlong Beans, some Portuguese red beans, Long Purple Eggplant, Jalapeno Peppers, and some colorful bell peppers in transplant containers and have them under the "mini greenhouse." I threw some Thyme seeds also into the herb bed. I had bought some thyme plants last year, but they died shortly after transplant.
UPDATE: March 7, 2019 I just received bought Quinoa seeds, all four of the varieties that Sustainable Seed Company had in stock. They just arrived today. I ordered them on the 4th (Sunday) and just got them. A perk of buying from local seed companies is quick arrival of shipping. Read my blog about other local seed companies in California, in the related posts at the bottom of this blog. I planted these March 12, 2019. Red Head, Cherry Vanilla, Brightest Brilliant Rainbow, and French Vanilla. Planted 48. These should be sprouted in about a week.
Some things I didn't get the chance to plant yet, because I don't have the seeds are Zucchini and Basil. I haven't planted my flowers that I would like to grow along side my garden yet and for now those are Marigolds and Zinnias. I still have yet t get my potatoes in the ground, but will be doing that first thing this month.
Citrus trees: Red Mandarin and Lisbon Lemon tree still need to be transplanted into a large container, likely a half wine barrel. As upset as I am that I haven't yet done this, I am glad I waited because I learned at the classes that my localest nursery hosts that when transplanting citrus trees, you don't want to disturb the roots.
Eversweet Pomegranate: Is not dead and it waking up from dormancy. Because this tree is so young, I don't think I want to fertilize it yet, though I may change my mind later. I will be adding a layer of organic compost to the top of the container.
Carrots: Little finger carrots planted around our pomegranate tree we planted in September 8th, 2018. Finally, last month I did harvest 3 carrots. All this time and yes, the carrots are about 3-4" long. Hence the name, Little Finger.
UPDATE: All the carrots have been harvested this month. I chopped, blanched and froze the yield for a stir-fry mix.
Nasturtiums: Last month after posting the blog and the seeing the Nasturtiums had made their way into nearly all of the photos of my raised bed, I gently collected all the vines and draped them our and over the side of the bed where they are now growing out onto our patio. Still no flowers, but the warmer weather this month I believe will bring the handsome red, orange or yellow flowers ( I can't remember)
Strawberries: Are producing flowers and with the warmer weather we've been having are producing fruit. I will also be topping this container off with some fresh compost. I need these 6 plants to do well so that I can can some more strawberry jam this year with strawberries from my own garden. UPDATE: I applied some 4-4-4 All-Purpose Organic plant food from Miracle grow so the rain we have coming can naturally take it in. Also had to do some weeding and removing of dead/ damaged plant leaves.
Herb bed: I recently learned that my herbs have Powdery Mildew! Not all of them, just the Rosemary and Purple Sage. Unfortunately, I noticed the white forming on my rosemary late November, but figured it might just be from the cold, and then the sage the same thing. So I simply wasn't doing anything about it. I knew that powdery Mildew existed, but I didn't think it could affect herbs, and I've never seen it before. The Greenery recommended that I use Monterey Complete Disease Control RTU which an organic solution, which of course they carry. Peppermint is doing well, I don't feel that it's doing well enough to harvest yet. The rest are mentioned in the harvesting section.
Garlic: No notable change since last months update. Not planning to do anything to them.
Carrots: Giant Market, Amethyst, and Nantes since we just started harvesting the Little Fingers my guess if that these carrots will be another month before these will be ready.
Unknown pepper: Some new growth! That's really all. He's still very sad looking.
Broccoli: I may need to harvest the quarter sized head because it looks like it's going to bolt soon. Or... I could let it bolt, bees love bolted broccoli and I could collect seeds because it's an heirloom variety.
Leeks: Still in the ground and doing alright. They're just little guys right now. I'm thinking about transplanting them to get them out of the way of what will be my summer garden while they are still small.
AeroGarden: I called customer service about the dud basil and they sent me a new one that has now sprouted. Hopefully this one does well. Dill is still going crazy. Parsley is doing well, but keeps getting yellow leaves that I've been needing to trim off. I've raised the light a little bit.
Montressat Tomatoes: These will be getting transplanted into what will be there permanent containers after this storm clears. I'm going to be growing all 5 of the plants that I have. It seems like a lot to have, I'm going to be saving the seeds and also have a little project that I hope to have these included in because they are unique and different from what most people see in store.
UPDATE: I transplanted three of them into their permanent containers. I'm working on getting more soil for the other plants. One of the transplants suffered from some transplant shock so I gave it some Soil Diva plant stimulant and 4 hours later it perked right up.
Buttercrunch Lettuce: Our lettuce is doing great we've harvested some for sandwiches and salads. This is a heading kind of lettuce, but I always prefer leafy lettuce and this variety can be harvested either way which is nice. If it started getting too warm later in the month the lettuce may bolt. Unfortunately after lettuce starts to bolt it gets a really nasty taste. This may be the last month I'll have this plant in the raised bed.
Chives: The chives are really taking off and have nice thick stalks now, perfect for adding to baked potatoes and omelets.
Cilantro: I have cilantro growing now in my garden, so far I have harvested and made cilantro lime rice, which my husband was not a fan of, so likely will not do again. Coincidentally he also didn't like the cilantro lime chicken I had made last year. I'm getting the feeling maybe he only likes cilantro in salsa. Will plant more to ensure that I have some for salsa season.
Oregano: I'm very impressed by how much better the oregano did last month. This month I will be harvesting as the first addition to my homegrown herb collection in my cabinet.
Dill: The dill from my AeroGarden as previously mentioned is producing prolifically, the amount of recipes that I have for dill is massively outnumbered by the amount of Dill I have. I will likely start harvesting the Parsley this month as well.
Updated - Peas: I have now started to harvest the pods, not for peas, but for the crisp delicious green pods. I need to discipline myself to leave them alone so that I can harvest them to freeze for a stir-fry mix that I would like to make. I harvested a first handful and blanched and froze for that stir-fry mix.
I have finally built my 4x4 raised bed and just need to get the soil to mix into it. Not sure exactly what will be going in here. I think I'm going to just not plan. I have plants that I have started, if I need to transplant them before I'm ready to take my winter garden out then I will have the space for them. If I do make room in the larger bed then I will be able to plant the really viney plants like watermelon, cantaloupe, spaghetti squash and pumpkin. Maybe not all of them, but we will see.
We've accidentally started a warm farm, it was our first compost bin. I'm planning to order an actual worm composer that we can both compost and in which we can also raise worms. My husband and I love fishing, usually not with live bait, but if we have it might as well.
Still working on getting a hold of a couple more wine barrels, so that I can transplant my citrus trees and my friends that I picked up for her for Christmas.
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*We still are waiting to send out the samples of the debris that fell into our garden last month. The only thing that is preventing us from sending them is finances, it's only $60 for the test, a small price to pay for piece of mind, however... winters can be tough both for my household and for our small family business so for the time being we are holding off.