Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Gardening

January was wet, February was wet, March IS wet. Consequently, the soil is also wet, and makes it difficult to till. I was able to get my garden tilled in early February, and got a few cool crops planted in mid-late February. But I have been unable to till the garden since--just too wet.

Toquerville has received almost 8 inches of rain since January 1st, already above our annual average rainfall. And with the El Nino pattern, it will probably continue wet well into May. But the El Nino pattern also means we will have fewer strong, north winds, and we have had fewer strong north winds than the past three years. So young, tender garden plants will not get beat up so badly from the wind. And I have not yet needed to water either my garden, grass or trees. I would suggest that because the soil is so saturated, to be careful about watering just because it warms up. I doubt trees will need any water for some time yet.

I have onions, peas, beets, carrots, and broccoli up and growing. Your cool weather crops should be in by now.

March Checklist:
1. Cool weather crops should be in the ground by now.
2. Roses should be pruned
3. Fertilize (spikes or granular) fruit trees, berries, shrubs
4. Till garden as soon as it dries out sufficiently, for planting tomatoes, potatoes, summer squash, melons, corn, etc.
5. Setup your drip system, this picture shows mine. I have my drip on a timer so I know the garden always gets watered, even if I forget about it, or am out of town.
6. Be thinking about Curly Top, and how you're going to combat it. I am going to plant some resistant varieties this year. See my earlier posts in this blog for a more complete treatment of this subject. It's been a wet winter and spring, so the Beet Leafhopper will be abundant this year.

Consider fertilizing your garden with a water soluble fertilizer through your drip system. Monoamonium Phosphate is what I use. Ballards Nursery sells this fertilizer, it is a low nitrogen, high phosphate, water soluble fertilizer, and I dispense it through my drip system. This fertilizer comes in a 50 lb bag, but will last you two or three years, or more.

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