March - Time For Planning
March...time to start the thought and planning stage of gardening....or, just physically activate what some of us have been thinking about all winter!
A good place to start is by going through our seed supply...tossing anything we know to be past the use dates...which can be iffy at best. Some time tested ways and guidelines are....put aside the seed you plan to grow this year and conduct a test run...using plastic baggies, coffee filters or paper towels ...soak the towel or coffee filter in water, place inside the baggie, zip it closed and place in a warm location...but not directly close to an open heat source...greenhouse or in a bright window will work well.....This is how the seed should sprout if still good....(the first graph is what we are aiming for.)
You also use this method of sprouting instead of starting seed in pots.
But remember: you must transplant to small pots as soon as the seed sprout...left in the baggie they will rot. Once in the pots (in potting mix not soil), keep lightly watered from the bottom of the trays. When the second set of leaves appear they are ready for the final planting into the garden.
Do you know??
Why are barns traditionally red? Let's travel back to the 17th century. In the early days, barns weren’t painted at all, and much smaller than barns of today. The pioneer barns were meticulously mapped and built from well- seasoned hand-hewn timber meant to withstand the test of time. Since commercial resources were non-existent, farmers were careful to place their barns with regard to the direction of the sun, wind, and water drainage — considerations that aided in naturally shielding their barns from the elements.
As farming practices evolved, so did these age-old construction methods. Barns shifted from traditional timber frames to more efficient (and economical) truss-framed and plank-framed buildings, requiring farmers to seek new means to protect the wood from inclement weather.
They found that linseed oil, a yellowish-brown oil extracted from flax-seed, worked well as a preservative since it was water resistant. (The natural finish is still used today in a variety of applications.) By the 18th century, barns took on a burnt orange hue as farmers coated them with a mixture of linseed oil, skimmed milk, and lime, a combination that hardened quickly and resulted in a durable plastic-like film. Though the homemade wood sealant held up to rain and sun, it unfortunately didn’t protect against decay caused by fungi.
After realizing that rust was an effective agent against mold, farmers started adding ferric oxide (otherwise known as rusted iron) to the sealant. Ferric oxide was abundant and inexpensive, as it could be sourced from the soil. It also turned the sealant red, paving the way to the “barn red” we know today.
Fruit trees can be pruned this month...here in the southern part of Tennessee about mid month works for start date...they can be pruned until the buds begin to swell.
Maple trees should not be pruned until they leaf out.
Start pruning roses this month after the last frost date and begin fertilizing around April 1st.
Asparagus beds can be cleared of all the dead ferns and stalks by months end.
Compost piles should be turned frequently now and fresh material added. (Preferably chemical free manure from horses...already composted is best. Never apply uncured animal manure to your garden.)
~Add something new to your garden this year......Sage Hill has chosen the Trumpet Vine ( coral honeysuckle) noninvasive to North America, grows quickly and wild in many regions. Loved by humming-birds and butterflies. Blooms from mid-spring to early summer with pretty red berries in the fall that attracts song- birds.
I will come to you as a consultant to help you decide what, where and how to garden.
Or, we have a class scheduled here at Sage Hill
32 Old Petersburg Pike
Wishing you all a Bliss filled spring....from the gardens.
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