hello March

Hallelujah, it’s finally March. It’s still snowing here in Northern Illinois but March is here and with it the knowledge that spring is just around the corner. I admit that I tend to hibernate a bit in the cold winter months but now, as the days grow a little longer and the sun shines a little brighter, I can feel my energy level rising.

Also rising are all of my seedlings that I planted in early February. This was the earliest I could start them this year, due to an incredible birthday trip to the French Quarter that my husband surprised me with for my birthday.

Though I used to try and start a number of plants indoors, now I just start tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. New this year, I also started some Imperial Star artichokes, which I’m really hoping gives us some of my favorite veggies this summer. We didn’t have much luck with these the last time we tried, but this time we got an early start. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Here’s one of my beautiful tomato plants:

lola-rugula-how-to-start-tomato-plants-indoors

That’s just a little piece of heaven in my book. A lot of my seeds this year are from Sustainable Seed Company and they germinated quite nicely. I don’t usually start my seeds in Jiffy pots but my mom gave me a bunch of them and I think we all know how I hate for things to go to waste. So this year, I’m back to Jiffy pots and everything is looking good.

Here’s a shot of one of my artichoke plants:

lola-rugula-how-to-start-artichoke-plants-indoors

I also started some purple Violetta artichokes, which I ordered from Reimer Seeds, but the first batch failed to sprout so I just planted my second round. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for those.

If you’ve not seen any of my previous posts on seed starting, I plant mine in pots with a base of potting soil and then a 2-inch topping of seed starter. This way, the seed starter is light enough to help the seeds sprout well but the base gives the roots something to really latch onto as they grow.

Also, I have a smallish, portable 3-shelf greenhouse with a cover that I use for starting my seeds. This helps hold in the heat and moisture until everything has sprouted. Lastly, I’m very lucky to have tons of windows to provide lots of sunshine and warmth for my seedlings.

It won’t be long now before we’re tilling up the garden and planting leeks – these will be another “first attempt”, so wish me luck. Man, I love leeks! Then come radishes, beets, peas, lettuce, greens and onions – I ordered some cool black radishes this year that I’m very excited about. Finally, typically in mid-May, everything else will go in – tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, beans, fennel, carrots, etc.

I can’t wait! Are you growing veggies this year? What’s on your garden planner? I’d love to talk veggies, flowers, herbs and dirt…let me know what you’re looking forward to the most.

6 thoughts on “hello March

  1. Ahhh you were the first to remind me that it is March already! Loved this post! I hope you update us with more pics as they grow! You inspired me. I want a victory garden this year! I’m always happy after I’ve spent the day out in my garden! (Havent had one for several years! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Lesley at Lola Rugula says:

      Gardening is often my zen time, that’s just how much I enjoy it, even thought it’s a lot of work sometimes. I’m so glad I inspired you – a victory garden would be perfect! I will definitely post some updates as I have them…so far, all is looking good.

  2. It’s coming into Autumn here now in New Zealand. I got too busy over this summer to pay any attention to my garden. I planted some sugar snap peas in spring, but all the other seeds I planted got eaten by birds. I wish I’d had more fresh herbs, they don’t require too much upkeep.

    • Lesley at Lola Rugula says:

      Oh, that’s so sad the birds at your seeds! Here I often have to battle deer and rabbits which is challenging, to say the least.

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