March Garden Planner

by Scott Duncan

Well, we just had another snow fall over most of the peninsula so we'll have to dream a little longer about our gardens. Here's a few suggestions for the time we are stuck inside and what to do when it finally warms up.

  • During March Delmarva weather can be cold, wet, and windy. But the first nice days of spring mark the beginning of gardening season on Delmarva. While you are waiting for the skies to clear set up a garden journal which you can use to keep track of what works from year to year under various types of conditions.

  • This is a good time to start seeds indoors with a starting medium or soil mix in flats or peat starter pots. Set these in a tray and water them from below or with a spray bottle set on mist. Check your seed packet instructions to determine if they need to be covered or exposed to light. Look in on them every day to see if they need watering. Thin germinated seeds to one or two plants per cell or pot.

  • Check your seed packets for the number of weeks from planting until harvest to know when to start and plant your seeds outside. On your empty packets write the date they were started and then when planted. Keep these in your garden journal to track when they germinate and when to expect your harvest, along with other planting instructions from the seed company.

  • In the beginning of the month start seeds for cold tolerant plants such as: peas, beets, spinach, Chinese cabbage, and potato or onion sets. Later in the month start other seeds for planting during April.

  • Buy or build a cold frame to protect seedlings and young plants that will be kept outside.

  • Once the soil has thawed you can begin preparing garden beds. Weed and turn the soil and add fertilizer. Take things slow so as not to cause muscle strain.

  • Check plant variety guides for the type of fertilizer you should use for the plants you want to grow. Some recommend allowing the soil to rest for a short period of time before planting.

  • Keep track of predicted overnight lows and cover plants when there are freeze warnings. Click here for information about hardiness zones on all three Delmarva states, and click here for the Spring vegetable planting guide (in PDF) created by the Maryland Cooperative Extension which works well throughout the peninsula. Contact your local extension office with questions.

    • University of Maryland Cooperative Extension - Plant Diagnostic Center
      Cecil County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-996-5280
      Kent County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-778-1661
      Queen Anne's County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-758-0166
      Caroline County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-479-4030
      Talbot County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-822-1244
      Dorchester County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-228-8800
      Wicomico County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-749-6141
      Worcester County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-632-1972
      Somerset County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-651-1350

    • University of Delaware - Plant Diagnostic Clinic
      Kent County Cooperative Extension Office - 302-730-4000
      New Castle County Cooperative Extension Office - 302-831-2506
      Sussex County Cooperative Extension Office - 302-856-7303

    • Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech - Diagnosing Plant Problems
      Accomack County Cooperative Extension Office - 757-787-136
      Northampton County Cooperative Extension Office - 757-678-7946

If you liked this article you might also like this one: The Basics Of Starting & Transplanting Seeds

If you have any gardening questions, please email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)