University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
SOWING COLE CROPS AND OTHER MARCH
Charlie Nardozzi, former
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
cole crops, planning your vegetable garden rotation, and pruning woody
are some of the gardening activities for this month.
Start seeds of cole crops,
including broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower indoors
lights. You'll have transplant-sized plants in about 6 weeks, ready for
planting outdoors a few weeks before the average last spring frost
To get a jump on the herb gardening
season, start seeds of basil, parsley, sage, and thyme indoors. Start
flats filled with moistened seed-starting mix. Once the seeds
the plants under grow lights for 14 hours a day (timers make this easy)
keep soil moist.
As you begin planning and planting
your vegetable garden beds, remember to rotate crops: Avoid planting
the same family in the same spot more than once every three years.
peppers, and eggplant are in the same family; so are squash, cucumbers,
pumpkins. Many pests and diseases overwinter in the soil, so moving
around can disrupt their life cycles and minimize your need for pest
Most trees and shrubs are best
pruned in late winter, after the coldest weather has passed. The
spring-flowering shrubs, such as forsythia, lilacs and azaleas, which
pruned immediately after flowering. You can remove dead or damaged
Cut branches of forsythia, quince,
pussy willow, and other early-flowering shrubs for forcing into early
Bring the branches indoors and place in a vase of water. They should
bloom in a
few weeks. Once pussy willows reach their peak, remove them from the
allow them to dry; they'll continue to look great in dried arrangements.
begonia tubers in containers to get an early start. Plant them
in well-drained potting soil. Set them in a warm (70 degrees F)
keep the soil moist but not soggy. Once you see growth --usually in 3
weeks -- place the pots in bright, indirect light. Wait to plant
all danger of frost is past.
Although April is the month to sow
seeds of many flowers, some take longer to mature and so should be sown
month. Flowers you may sow early in
March include dusty miller, geranium, heliotrope, impatiens,
petunia, mealycup sage, torenia, verbena, and annual vinca.
you may sow the middle to end of
March include ageratum, coleus, dianthus, ornamental millet, African
ornamental pepper, annual phlox, rudbeckia, scarlet sage, and
Keep in mind that seed catalogs and
packets often give "days to germination" which is the time for seeds
to sprout, not the time until they are ready to plant outside.
find these times for the above
plants, and more, online (perrysperennials.info/consumer.html) in the
Extension leaflets on Indoor Seed Sowing for Flowers (OH89) and
Other gardening activities for this
month include watching for and attending flower and garden shows,
maple sugarhouse, and removing heavy winter mulch from perennials.