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11 March 2010

March Vegetable Garden Considerations

Planning on a vegetable garden this year? March is the time to begin getting things done, regardless where in the country you are. There are several planning considerations to account for in preparing your garden. I'll be focusing on Planting Time. Your other considerations include:
  • Planting time
  • available sunlight
  • soil condition
  • available space
  • irrigation
  • plant types
  • time available.
Many resources are available on methods to address each one of these considerations.

For this time year, we're looking at warm-season vegetables. Examples are tomatoe, lima bean, green bean, and cucumber. Each plant will have a different growing time to maturity, typically ranging between 50 to 90 days (7 t0 12 weeks). Which brings us to our timing consideration.

Before planting, we need to prepare soils, if not frozen, this can be done at any point prior to planting. Some would argue it is best to let the prepared soil lay, and turn again, but this may not be practical for many.

Which brings us to planting timing for various USDA Zones. A note about USDA zones, these have become more fine tuned in recent years, however, they remain general guidelines, and each local area will create varying growing characteristics based on humidity, ocean winds, etc. Additionally, the zones are targeted at cold-hardiness, and don't account as well for heat-tolerance.

Zones ................ What to Start Indoor & Outdoors
1 & 2 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require more than 12 weeks

3 & 4 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require 6 to 12 weeks

4 & 5 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require 8 to 10 weeks

6 & 7 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require 4 to 6 weeks

8 & 9 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow vegetable seeds outdoors

10 & 11 --- Plant tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow vegetable seeds outdoors

The bottom line: March is a good time to get things started, but unless you live in the coldest regions of the country, you need to get out there and start getting busy!

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro Atlanta based Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com
Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.

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