Oh, dear! My March garden review is so tardy, my memory is starting to lapse. I do have a fuzzy recollection of another wet month with all the usual characters: California Slender salamanders, snails, slugs, and fungal diseases. This is not a complaint, though. Bring on the rain!
Peas if you please
In February I seeded 3 types of peas (Royal mix, Thomas Lawton, Dwarf Villa Roma) with Rootrainers, and this month I transplanted them outside where they’re all tendrilling strongly upward.
Frustratingly I’ve had some bad luck with the Sugar Snap peas I seeded in the fall. Mid-February they had a glorious flush of fat, delicious pea pods. In March they got dark brown leaf spots and then rapidly died from the base of the stem. I asked Pam Peirce at her small container gardening class if she could identify the problem, but she suggested I send the plants to the UC Cooperative Extension to have them analyzed. Anyone else have any ideas? I’ll have to get back to you when I find out more.
My marigolds have been devoured and my maché and spinach seeds never materialized. The culprit: the slug and his kin the snail. I’ve been regularly using Sluggo, but I think these gastropods are developing more sophisticated tastes. Perhaps my plebeian pellets are too passé. I’ve also discovered they’re using my drip system as a veritable gastropod highway. Now, this is no country snail!
Aphids: absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder
You know it’s truly spring when the aphids return. They’re residing on my lettuce and in alarming quantities on my kale. I’ve managed them thus far by using a strong jet of water to knock them off the plants. Take that! And that!
Rhubarb forced to collapse
My January experiment to “force” my rhubarb failed. The plant contracted gray mold and I had to remove the terracotta pot. I’m doing a little more research on this surprisingly interesting topic, so stay tuned.
What’s growin' on
I seeded 4 kinds of carrots (Juwarot, Little Finger, Parisian & Royal Chantenay) and 2 kinds of radishes (French Breakfast & White Hailstone) all of which are doing well. My lettuce, marigolds, sunflowers, and nasturtiums starts were moved outside and I have cucumbers, melons, and broccoli growing under lights.
Minus the peas, my harvests are the same as February: lettuce, strawberries, leeks, asparagus, and a small amount of carrots.
It seems like March was a rough month with lots of challenges, but it really wasn’t that bad. We had glorious rain, warmer weather, and lots of growth. I'd take it all over again. "Hello April!"