Introduction – What To Plant In Early And Late March
ShrinkThatFootprint supports sustainable home gardening which is the practice of growing and harvesting food in an environmentally responsible way. If you want to get started early this year, then you might wonder what to plant in March, which is basically the earliest time to plant for any region that experiences all 4 seasons.
Sustainable home gardening can also be supplemented with natural resources such as solar energy, native soils, and organic pest control. Sustainable home gardening can be done on a small or large scale, and it often involves the use of organic materials, composting, and permaculture.
The practice comes with many benefits. It helps to reduce our carbon footprint by minimizing the amount of energy and resources needed to produce food. It also encourages biodiversity, which can help to protect and restore habitats and ecosystems. Additionally, sustainable home gardening can provide fresh, nutritious produce, while also creating a sense of community with neighbors and other gardeners.
When reading the below, it is important to consider regional temperatures and climate. Depending on where you live and the climate in your region, these tips will need to be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you live in a warmer climate, then what we say about what not to grow may be wrong and you may be able to plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants in March. If there is a risk of frost in your area, you may need to wait until later in the spring to plant certain vegetables.
We will guide this part using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. For people living in other countries, obviously it means different rules.
March Is A Transition Point From Winter to Spring
Planting in March is good due to the change in temperature, because at this time temperatures start to rise and the days are getting longer, making it a great time to start your garden provided you stick to certain plants. The warmer days will give your plants the energy they need to grow and thrive.
The soil temperature is also an important consideration when deciding what to plant in March. When the soil is cooler, certain plants will be able to take advantage of the nutrients in the soil, resulting in a healthier, more productive harvest.
Knowing the timing of the growing season is important when deciding what to plant in March. By planting in March, you can ensure that your plants will have plenty of time to grow and develop before the hot summer months. This will result in a higher yield and a healthier harvest. But not all plants will thrive and it basically comes down to the cooler temperatures and risk of frost.
Plant Hardiness Zone Determines What Kind Of March You Have
Vegetables to plant in March will depend on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. In colder zones, it may still be too cold to start planting and you should wait until April or May. In warmer zones, March is a great time to start planting.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is a geographic area defined by the average annual minimum temperature of the region. The USDA divides the United States into 13 zones, ranging from 1 (coldest) to 13 (warmest). Each zone is further divided into A and B, reflecting slightly warmer and colder temperatures respectively. Knowing your plant hardiness zone can help you choose plants that are well-suited to the climate in your area.
The most common USDA Plant Hardiness Zones for Americans are 5 and 6. Zone 5 covers most of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while Zone 6 is found along the West Coast and in parts of the Southeast.
Zone 3 is found in the northern states, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, and parts of Vermont. Zone 4 is also located in the northern states, including parts of Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. A state like New York encompasses Zone 3 to Zone 7.
You can look up your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Simply enter your zip code and the map will show the zone for your area. You can also use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Finder to search by city or county.
Zone 3 – Seed Indoors In March And Plant Outdoors In April
For Zone 3 where warms up later in the season, we recommend a two step process.
Step 1: Obtain seeds from a sustainable source. There are big vendors that sell to both farms and small home operations.
Step 2: Starting the Seeds Indoors: Plant your seeds in small starter pots or seed trays filled with fresh seed starting mix. Place the pots or trays in a bright location, such as a south-facing window, and keep the soil moist. Once the seedlings have grown several inches high, thin out the weaker seedlings and reduce their exposure to direct sunlight.
Step 3: Gradually Introduce the Seedlings to Outdoor Conditions: Once the seedlings have grown strong enough, gradually introduce them to outdoor conditions by placing them in a sheltered spot outdoors for a few hours each day. Over time, increase both the length and intensity of their outdoor exposure until they are ready to be transplanted into your garden.
Here are the vegetables we recommend you start seeding indoors in March:
Early March: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, onion
Late March: Eggplant, okra, pepper
Once they’re robust seedlings, you will transplant them into soil outdoors. For most of the leafy vegetables we recommend waiting a month and a half before transplanting. For the eggplant, okra (which many people avoid due to its inherent sliminess) and pepper, we recommend waiting all the way until June for transplanting!
Zone 4 – Plant Outdoors In March
Here we cover 4 kinds that can handle a light frost and cooler temperatures and thrive in the early spring.
1. Lettuce: Lettuce is a cool-season crop that can handle a light frost, making it a great choice for planting in March. Make sure to plant your lettuce in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. Mulching around the lettuce will help to keep the soil temperature warm and will also help to prevent weeds from taking over.
2. Spinach: Spinach is a great choice for planting in March as it can tolerate cool temperatures. Make sure to provide your spinach with plenty of water and fertilizer for optimal growth. If your spinach is planted in a sunny spot, it will be more productive, so be sure to choose a location with plenty of sunlight.
3. Radishes: Radishes are a great choice for planting in March. Plant your radishes in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. Radishes will grow quickly and can be harvested as soon as they are mature.
4. Carrots: Carrots are a great choice for planting in March. Plant your carrots in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. Make sure to thin out your carrots as they grow to ensure that they have enough space to mature and reach their full potential.
Tips for Growing Plants in March
Choosing the right location for your garden is important when planting in March. Make sure to choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and is away from any cold winds or drafts.
Preparing the soil is an important step in successful gardening. Make sure to loosen the soil and add compost or sand to help the soil retain moisture.
Once your soil is prepared, it is time to plant your seeds. Make sure to check the packet for any specific instructions on planting your seeds.
Once your seeds are planted, make sure to water and fertilize your plants regularly. This will ensure that your plants will have the nutrients and water they need to grow and thrive.
What Not to Plant in March – Tips
Some plants that don’t tolerate the March climate are the following.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are not a good choice for planting in March due to the climate and soil temperature. Tomatoes will not be able to handle the cold temperatures and may not reach their full potential if planted too early.
Peppers: Peppers are another vegetable that is not a good choice for planting in March. Peppers require warmer temperatures and will not be able to handle the cold temperatures of March.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are not a good choice for planting in March. Cucumbers need a longer growing season and will not be able to reach their full potential if planted too early.
Eggplants: Eggplants are also not a good choice for planting in March. Eggplants need a longer growing season and will not be able to reach their full potential if planted too early.
Reasons Not To Plant in March
Planting in March is not ideal for some plants due to the climate. The temperatures are still relatively cool and the days are still relatively short, making it difficult for plants to reach their full potential. The soil temperature is also an important consideration when deciding what not to plant in March.
When the soil is cool, the plants will not be able to take advantage of the nutrients in the soil, resulting in stunted growth. Knowing the timing of the growing season is important when deciding what not to plant in March. By waiting to plant until later in the season, you can ensure that your plants will have plenty of time to grow and develop before the hot summer months.
Planting in March is a great way to start your sustainable home gardening journey. Vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, radishes and carrots are great choices, as are herbs like sage, thyme, parsley, and oregano.
Planting in March offers many benefits, including an ideal climate and soil temperature, as well as timing of the growing season for the right kinds of crops.
Sustainable home gardening is an important practice for reducing our carbon footprint, protecting and restoring habitats and ecosystems, and providing fresh, nutritious produce. By planting in March, you can ensure that you can reap the benefits of sustainable home gardening.