March is upon us! This month you can continue to get organized and plan what you want to grow.
It’s time to start picking up seeds from the ECU Seed Swap!
When you are growing plants from seeds, it is a good idea to think about if you want to start some seeds indoors or if you want to direct sow everything into your planting space outdoors.
Think about your indoor space - Do you have a south facing window where you get lots of light? If you do, it might be fun to start a few things over the next two months. Before you get started planting indoors, think about how much space do I have? The seeds you sow inside now will likely be on your windowsill until mid or late May. How much of your sunny window real estate can you dedicate to seed starting? Protect your window sills and furniture from water damage before you start using them. Use old plastic trays to protect your windowsill and furniture (search other folks recycling bins for things that are the right size for your situation). Try to recycle and reuse as much as possible when starting seeds.
If you don’t have a suitable indoor space, or your roommates/family don’t want to deal with tons of dirt in the kitchen (sorry to my family) then make a plan that allows you to direct sow into your garden or pots. You won’t start planting most things outside until after the “last frost date” in your region but there are some things you can get started outside earlier.
Here is a useful planting table to assist you with your planning and seed planting:
Don’t worry if you don’t have the capacity to start anything now. You have the next six months to plant things! Your garden is not a place to feel shame and regret. The garden is a space for you to learn and observe, to experiment, to succeed and to fail. It is a place for you to grow your relationship to plants and deepen your understanding of your own bit of land - even if that is just one pot of dirt. If your seeds don’t germinate or you forget to water and things do not thrive - you can just try again. Or seek out a friend with extra seedlings they can give to you.
In Vancouver, it's time for the very first signs of spring. Just yesterday I saw a bee feeding on pollen in a crocus. Despite the green perennial shoots pushing up through the soil, it is still too early to plant most seeds. This month, focus on getting organized, and thinking about what you might want to grow and where you might want to grow it? Take a look at a planting calendar for your area and map out your spring planting dates. This is a good time to pick up a seedling mix or some soil to have on hand to start your seeds next month. Take some time to find some containers for starting seeds. I have made myself a promise not to buy any plastic containers for my garden, so I save the ones I have and look for extras in the recycling bins around my neighborhood. “Buy Nothing” groups are also a great resource for pots of all sizes.
The last frost date in Vancouver is March 20-31 so you will not put out most seedlings or direct sow until those dates have passed. If you have poppy seeds that you didn’t plant in the fall, now is a good time to sprinkle them into some prepared soil outside. They need the cool weather to germinate but do not like to be transplanted.
Otherwise, take time now for planning, dreaming, careful observation and enjoying the occasional warm spring day.
February 16th, 2022
Want to share your gardening adventures? Send us photos and stories from your growing season and we will feature them here!