Gardening March Madness

Gardening March madness is the appropriate term for any gardener in the Midwest during March! My husband Chris always reminds me that it usually snows during bracket season. Don’t you just love the Final Four? Our family does the whole bracket thing; it is a long-cherished Petty tradition full of healthy competition among family, neighbors and co-workers. March-April, the NCAA gets into high gear. A Reader’s Digest article noted that “American companies would lose $1.9 billion in wages paid to unproductive workers spending company time on betting pool priorities.“ I would argue that is also lost to those who love the first break of early Spring.

Spring snow in the garden often causes some panic. Many will worry when their daffodils begin to sprout too early! “Will they be ok?” Folks often ask me. The answer is most often, “Yes!”

Mother Nature has the whole timing thing down. She is all about timing. So when you see those little crocus sprouts or the tips of your tulips begin to emerge, don’t worry too much. They know what they are doing. If you want to cover them with a little newspaper or a sheet, because a blanket of ice is coming, do it! Especially, cover if the flower buds have well emerged above ground.

I adore the perfect timing of it all! The English gardeners have long believed in timing when it comes to the moon’s incredible power, particularly the gravitational pull. The Farmer’s Almanac reads, “Folklore is rich among farmers, given their close ties to Earth and her natural rhythms.” The moon’s new and first-quarter phases, known as the light of the Moon, are considered good for planting above-ground crops, putting down sod, grafting trees, and transplanting in the late spring.” And, you have to love this tip, “Dig your horseradish in the Full Moon for the best flavor.” This is good to know for that savory Bloody Mary on Sunday NCAA game days!

God created Mother Nature to be the ‘hippest chick’ in the bunch I think, she is one whom I dig, and I anticipate fully!

Carrie Petty

While I love the perfect timing of it all, it is ok to ‘force’ a few things along the way too. Now is a great time to plant small vessels with Wheat Grass seed to use indoors for your Easter table centerpieces, Wheat Grass is like regular grass seed but the blade is thicker for a more pronounced tuft of green! I love Baker Creek Seed Company seeds, mostly because they are heirloom and organic seeds owned by a great company.

Also, get out and clip a few branches off your blooming trees and place them in a vase of clean, warm water. Set them in the sun and in about two weeks their buds will break and begin to swell and soon you will have fresh crabapple, cherry, dogwood, redbud blooms indoors. I love my Fiskars Pruners for this job. This is a great task for their sharp, easy-to-use grip. I love my partnership with Fiskars! Let the madness begin!

Not sure where to start? Check out my seasonal gardening checklists.

Onward to Growing a Beautiful Life!

– Gardening Love, Carrie

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