Monthly Garden Calendar for Alaska

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Linden Staciokas



I read newspapers on the Internet, so I know that there are places where March means tulips and cherry trees in bloom. Here, however, winter is still the master: our average high temperature is 23.8 degrees F, our average low is 1.7 degrees F below zero and our average snowfall is 6.4 inches.

Remember Rhubarb. Rhubarb is a member of the sorrel family, and has plenty of fiber and Vitamin C. More importantly, this perennial survives our toughest winters and comes up so early that eating it gives you a taste of summer before you have even sow the rest of your seeds.

Let's Talk Leeks. Leeks are easy to grow, disease-resistant, and can be harvested from their earliest stages all the way until after the first few snows. They are also easy to preserve: just wash, chop, and freeze. Start them indoors in late March, as you would any other vegetable.

Seed Sowing. It's seed-starting time. Here's what to sow and when: By the 10th start greenhouse tomatoes; by the 20th start celery, parsley, peppers, eggplant, greenhouse cukes, fibrous begonias, lobelia and ageratum; at the end of the month start impatiens, pansies, violas, anemones, ranunculus, snapdragons, verbena, daises, coleus, phlox, schizanthus and poppies.

Rose Revival. Bring up those roses that spent the winter lounging around the garage or basement and put them in an area that gets light but isn't hit by direct sunlight. Pull off the bags, water thoroughly and expect to wait about two weeks before things really look noticeably greener.

Books to Check Out. If you have time this month, track down The Edible Flower Garden by Rosalind Creasy. The information is tops and the pictures are as luscious as the recipes. Mardi Gras Salad with Pecans, anyone?