March gardening tip

This is a great time to plant some of the cold-tolerant crops, such as peas – in fact, it’s a Saint Patrick’s Day tradition! Sow them directly in the garden according to seed packet directions, cover with a half-inch of soil, and water them in well. Keep in mind that climbing varieties will need trellis support, so plant them where you can put your trellis. Keep sowing more peas every 2-3 weeks until mid-spring to extend your harvest. Indoors, you can be starting warm weather crops such as cucumbers, watermelon and pumpkins. These are large seeds, so germinate them in 3” pots instead of cell packs. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, and New Zealand spinach can also be started at this time. New Zealand spinach is not a true spinach, but a different species, Tetragonia tetragonioides, which thrives in hot, dry weather, and is very nutritious after a quick blanching or steamed. Soaking the seeds in warm water for a few hours prior to sowing to soften the seed coat and improves germination. New Zealand spinach always has a low germination rate and takes time to come up, so be generous with the seeds when sowing. To learn more about seed starting and other topics, visit



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