I will NOT start the tomatoes yet. I will NOT start the tomatoes yet. I will NOT start the tomatoes yet. . . I really need to repeat this mantra until the end of the month because EVERY year I wind up with tomato plants that are overflowing their pots and my shelves weeks before they can go in the ground. Why? Because I get a whiff of spring in the air and I think "Start those tomatoes!" In fact one year I could swear I started them in January. Do NOT try this !! (Unless you want 4-foot high tomato plants taking over every window in your house in March--this is not a pretty sight!) So THIS year I'm going to get it right! (I hope.)
Last year I actually made a planting schedule for myself as part of my garden journal. And I was smart enough to include notes about what to do better the next year, which included a stern warning not to start tomatoes until the END of March. I promise I will listen this year! So, here's my summer plant seed-starting plans:
- March 8: Start fava beans. These are actually spring plants that can go in the ground in April, and they grow really fast, so they only need a couple of weeks of growing inside. Start Swiss Chard for early plants.
- March 14: Start peppers, ground cherries (like tomatillos but smaller and sweet), basil, lobelia, poached egg flower, Gilia flower (these are some flowers that attract beneficial insects to your garden.)
- March 21: Plant sugar snap and shell peas direct in the garden. Transplant cabbage, kale, leeks, broccoli and cauliflower seedlings to garden. Plant radish, beets, lettuce and salsify seeds directly in garden.
- March 27: Start tomato and squash plants, along with calendula, marigolds, nemophila flowers (more companion plants).
Of course many of these plans are contingent upon Mother Nature. I recall having to come out in the snow to cover up my new transplants in years past! But that's all part of the gardening game. Mother Nature has veto power over any of my plans!