Hands in the Dirt: MLT gardening tips for March 2021

March and the sun are here!  Not much gets a gardener’s blood pumping like the first days with 50-degree highs!

What should you do this first week of March? Weed. What should you do next week? Weed. And the next and the next?  WEED! Get those pesky plants out now before they have the chance to spread. The shotseed is already starting to flower, so make sure to pull it before it sets the little rocket seeds of garden’s doom.

OK, what can you be doing that is a wee bit more fun (if not as satisfying as the sheer biomass of weeds you just pulled)? It’s time to start those early greens outdoors under cover, such as lettuce, spinach, and mustard. Cut and come again lettuce varieties can be sown fairly thickly if you are willing to cut off only the outer leaves so they can keep growing, but won’t “head up” unless given proper spacing of 12-18 inches. Beets can be successfully planted in the garden later in the month, and St. Patrick’s Day is a good reminder to plant potatoes.

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chard, and kale can all be started indoors. Kale and chard may sprout if sown outdoors, but will get a head start if started indoors for a few weeks before transplanting. Tomatoes and peppers can be also be sown in March, but peppers may require a heat mat for good germination rates, and both will benefit from a good, high lumen grow light placed a few inches above the plants.

Do you have extra seeds that you saved last year, or a packet you only used one used one or two seeds? Trade them out at the MLT BOG free seed library. Don’t have seeds and would like some? We’ve got lots. Send us a line at TheMLTBOG@gmail.com and schedule a time to peruse the seed library.

Have a question about gardening?  Post it on our Facebook page.

About the BOG

The Ballinger Organic Garden (BOG) is a volunteer-led effort to develop a community garden at Ballinger Park. The BOG, in partnership with MLT Recreation & Parks and the MLT Senior Center and funded by a grant from the MLT Community Foundation, is currently in “Phase 0” while larger construction activities (creek restoration and trail installation) are completed.  Phase 0 includes maintenance of the existing raised beds and a garden plot on the south side of the MLT Senior Center in Ballinger Park. Phase 1 will involve installation of a larger garden with plots available for community members to maintain.  Want to volunteer, or have an idea of what you want to see in the future garden? Please let us know.

To stay up to date on what is happening at the BOG, including what’s growing, work parties, and events, follow us on Facebook  or Instagram.

Robyn Rice grew up in Eastern Washington, pulling weeds and picking up rotten fruit as dreaded chores assigned by her Master Gardener father. Today, Robyn is a fisheries biologist for an environmental consulting firm, and has been gardening in the Seattle area since 2010. Her science background leads to endless research about the “correct” way to do things, but her enthusiasm and sense of adventure leads her to garden fearlessly because hey, what’s the worst that could happen?


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