Start Planning your Garden in March!

Grow something

Author: By Barbara Bravo
Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010

March is the time to start seeds indoors, 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date, which is around April 30th in the Hudson Valley. You can start tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other heat-loving veggies indoors. Don’t put them out in the garden until mid-May at the earliest—if we have a cold snap they’ll just sit there and sulk, or worse. In April you can plant lettuce, spinach, pea and beet seeds directly into the garden. They do best in cool weather. Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension for information about the best varieties to grow. It’s a dependable resource for creating a bountiful vegetable garden this season. 

 

Protect your plants

 

Finally, we need to address “deer munching.” One reason for choosing to live in the Hudson Valley is to be close to nature and to enjoy the rich variety of flora and fauna.  Sometimes it can be challenging to live side by side with our local wildlife, especially the white-tailed deer. They will be hungry and looking for young new shoots of spring to eat.

Tulips are a favorite food, so be sure to protect them. Fences are by far the best deterrent but if you can’t fence in your gardens, there are many sprays available that work well and even some home brew recipes that work reasonably well. (See the sidebar at right for one recipe that works.) Sprays work two ways: some deter by odor and some by taste. The secret is to spray and spray often as the plants grow to discourage munching. Tulips sitting in your favorite vase will be a lovely reward for all your hard work.

Spring is the time of renewal. These simple steps will get the garden off to a good start and prepare the scene for the arrival of richly colored spring bulbs, flowering shrubs and the re-emergence of favorite perennials. I can hardly wait.

 

Barbara Bravo is a Garden Coach, Master Gardener and Ceramic Artist. She has 24 years experience gardening in Ulster County where the wildlife is plentiful and where she continues to learn peaceful co-existence. enterthegarden.com

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