Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - WARM MARCH - THE GOOD AND THE BAD

IN THE DIRT with DOUG - WARM MARCH - THE GOOD AND THE BAD

The main point of this blog is that we never know from one year to the next how soon spring gardening will erupt.  We have not had a warm March like this since 2012.  Gardening is erupting early this year.  This is all good if we keep good, sound gardening practices in place.  For instance, some are asking if we have petunia and tomato plants.  I am not faulting the question because sunny, 80 degree days make it seem that it is time to plant.  But it is only early March and our weather can turn colder and we still have the possibility of having more snowfall – UGH!  But, it’s true.  The time to plant summer blooming annuals and fruiting vegetable plants is mid to late April.  Matter of fact, some gardeners believe in using May 1st as the start date for vegetable gardening. Our average last frost date for the Central Virginia area is around April 20.  I said April – not March.  We have five weeks before we get to this gardening threshold.  Also, I take daily readings of our soil temperature.  As of March 9, our soil temperature is 48 degrees.
            Our forsythia buds are swelling and could start showing color in the next week to ten days / a sure sign that spring is almost here. 
            With warmer March days, many of the gardener’s good and bad bugs will begin to make their presence.  New growth always invites the predators we don’t want such as aphids cutworms, and caterpillars.  There are many organic methods and products available for control that will not harm our beneficial insects.  Early today I saw honeybees flying around the flowers of the Hellebores.  I loved the sight of them.
            Bottom line  -  enjoy early gardening with this warming trend of March.  BUT, stay smart and don’t over react in thinking that we are “out of the woods” when it comes to some colder days later in the month.  It can happen.
                        HAPPY GARDENING
Posted: 3/11/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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