Welcome temperamental March in the garden

Rogue Valley gardeners, let’s greet “Dear March” by planting a berry bush and some seeds for cool-season crops. Indoors, it’s time to sow eggplant, bok choy, kale, celery, and mustards in peat pots, as well as Chinese cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes in trays/flats.

Sow seeds directly outdoors for: radishes, carrots, lettuce, peas, arugula, cilantro, collards, garden cress, kohlrabi, parsley, Swiss chard and turnips.

Don’t forget to rotate from last year where you plant seeds in raised beds to help prevent insect pests and diseases. Or try polyculture planting by mixing carrots, leeks, onions and lettuce together, saving room to transplant in tomatoes later on. Here’s a useful link for more polyculture planting ideas.

Avid gardener and poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) often wrote about nature. Her sing-song poem, “Dear March,” was the inspiration for my poem, called “March and Her Yellow”:

Hello, March!

The month of my birth;
Your clamorous winds
Re-awaken the Earth.

It’s been a while
Since I’ve seen your yellow,
Good morning, Sun!
You’re such a fine fellow!

Did you lend your glow
To shy Daffodil
Who bows her head
Expecting Winter still?
Or, bold Forsythia,
Was that you, instead
Who coaxed Daffodil
From her earthen bed?

Greetings, March!
And the gold you bring,
Your Sun, your Flowers
Call out, “It’s spring!”

Please join me in greeting spring at Hanley Farm for Sundays in Spring from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 7 and April 14 and May 5 and May 19. The Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Family Nurturing Center’s Farm and Food Program are teaming up to offer family-fun gardening activities. I’ll be there to show folks around the Shakespeare Garden and talk about spring plantings. See you there!

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