By Cynthia Brian
“That which surrounds you is within you.”~ Karl Schmidt
After visiting the Yucatan Peninsula for a week at the end of February where I snorkeled and swam in underground cenotes (rivers) as well as the aqua waters of the Caribbean, I returned to a garden exploding in blooms. Bearded iris, tulips, anemones, freesia, cyclamen, calla lilies, oxalis, Chinese fringe, rosemary, ranunculus, cinerera, gladioli, plus hillsides of daffodils as well as fruit trees of Asian pear, peach, apricot, prune, and crabapple. As the wind blew, the air rained pear blossoms. The soothing smell of springtime permeated my nostrils. How lovely to come home to beauty.
The recent insert in our water bill made me laugh with ways to use only thirty-five gallons a day. Besides the fact that they failed to recognize that most households contain more than one individual, they also completely overlooked water for gardens, indoor plants, and pets. Although my water conservation efforts have placed me in the top 20% of savers, the water company also recognized that 68% of my water usage is for landscaping. If only we had access to the water of those 6000 cenotes in the Yucatan!
Many emails have arrived asking about more information on the Pearl’s Premium lawn seed. Since the ground is warming yet the heavens still shower us with rainfall, March is an opportune time to seed and re-seed your lawns. Since my November 4th, 2015 article
(https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0918/Digging-Deep-Gardening-with-Cynthia-Brian.html) about this award winning lawn seed, I’ve learned that new research indicates that the roots grow to twenty inches, making the grass, once established very drought resistant. The one draw back that I have discovered from my personal experience is that in our area, the birds do indeed like the seeds. Make sure to roll the seeds for good soil contact and water deeply. Water daily until sprouting occurs. You may have to over seed a few times to get the lush green thickness you desire.
What to do in your March garden:
PICK up all fallen camellias to prevent petal blight on the plant. Remember that camellia bushes grow into camellia trees so plant in an appropriate location.
PLANT asparagus crowns as soon as the soil is dry enough to work.
SOW Irish potatoes, English peas, radishes, turnips, kale, and carrots any time this month.
ATTRACT Monarch butterflies to your garden by planting milkweed. A caterpillar increases its body mass 2000 times as it nibbles on milkweed.
ADD the perennial vegetable rhubarb to your potager along with strawberries. They’ll be ready to harvest at the same time, just right for pies, jams, sauces, and other treats.
ESPALIER apples, kiwis, and grapes for easier picking as well as space saving.
SEED and reseed lawns. Clover is an excellent option if you are seeking something other than grass.
FERTILIZE lawns with an organic feed high in nitrogen. All plants can use a boost of nitrogen.
TIME for a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in ten years. Tetanus does not occur just from rusty nails. You can get it from digging in the dirt.
REPEL insects naturally with swaths of pennyroyal, nasturtium, calendula, and marigold.
NET plants, shrubs, and trees that you don’t want nibbled by birds, deer, rabbits, and other foragers.
DIVIDE agapanthus, daylilies, and iris while they are still semi-dormant.
COMPOST all organic matter to add to your garden. This includes newspaper, shredded cardboard, food scraps (except meat), eggshells, tea leaves, and coffee grinds.
BUILD hugels now while the soil is still easy to dig to help with moisture retention for the summer months.
PLAN your vegetable garden. Check the soil, turn over the cover crops, determine the sunlight conditions, choose your seeds, and write a list of plants you wish to purchase to keep you eating fresh all season.
PLANT culinary herbs including cilantro, chives, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
PREPARE for Easter celebrations with arrangements of tulips, hyacinths, lilies, and colorful annuals.
START seeds of eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers indoors to get a head start on your summer barbecues.
WEED! After all the rainfall, weeds are proliferating. Start pulling them up or turning them under before seedpods set.
MARK your calendars for wine and books event benefiting Be the Star You Are!® charity on Saturday, April 9th from noon until 7 at Dawn’s Dream Winery Tasting room, NW Corner of 7th & San Carlos, Carmel-by-the-Sea. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/#!events/kgh2e
Allow your surroundings to sink deeply into your soul. You have the power to bring beauty to your everyday environment.
Happy Gardening! Happy Growing! Happy Spring! (almost)
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at http://www.StarStyleRadio.com
Garden and plant consultations by appointment.