Monthly Garden Calendar for Pacific Coast North United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Amy Stewart

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MARCH

My garden's been sadly neglected this spring. I did the bare minimum amount of pruning and mulching before the winter rain set in, the vegetable beds got a cover crop too late to do them any good, and my seed table is filled, not with seed trays, but with unopened mail. It's a sad state of affairs, but I've got a good excuse, and I ask your indulgence while I share it with you: my new book, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, has just been published by Algonquin Books. Since January, I've been traveling around with my worms, speaking at nurseries, garden clubs, and bookstores. This month I'll be in southern California; I hope you'll drop by one of the following events and say hello. For a complete events listing, please visit: AmyStewart.com

Worm Composting Workshop March 25, 2004 7:00 p.m.
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr
La Cañada, CA 91011
818-949-4200

Reading & Book Signing
March 30, 2004 12:00 Noon
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
626-449-5320

Radiant Roses. Give the roses their first feeding of the year. The old rose growers around here (it's the roses that are old, not the growers) prefer an inexpensive dose of alfalfa pellets and Epson salt.

Caring For Fruit Trees and Vines. Feed citrus trees and berry vines with a fertilizer formulated just for them; they have unique micronutrient needs. I like the Fruit Trees Alive! fertilizer from Gardens Alive.

Eco-Friendly Fertilizer. As long as you're stocking up on fertilizer, get some acid-loving fertilizer for your rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas, and azaleas.

Avoid Blight. Gather fallen camellia blossoms to prevent the spread of camellia petal blight.

Potato Planting. Plant potatoes now to enjoy your first harvest in July. In cooler coastal areas, it's time to start seeds of summer vegetables like tomato and pepper.

Cover Crop. Cover crops like vetch, rye, or fava should be cut down with a string trimmer or tilled under about four weeks before planting time.

Beautiful Bulbs. Plant summer-blooming bulbs like gladiolus and calla lilies.

Pruning Practice. Prune last year's growth off the bougainvillea to encourage it to bloom on new wood.

Seedling Care. Set out seedlings of cosmos, bachelor button, snapdragon, and stock.

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