Spring is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to get a head start on the garden!

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Growing your own produce can improve your and your family’s diet by leaps and bounds. The food you grow yourself is the freshest food you can eat, and because home gardens are filled with fruits and vegetables, it’s also among the healthiest food you can eat. Not surprisingly, several studies have shown that gardeners (kid and adult alike) eat more fruits and vegetables than their peers.

Gardening also offers some less visible, but perhaps equally sustaining benefits — whether your garden is a small patio planter, a backyard vegetable garden or a plot in a community garden. It’s no coincidence that gardens aimed at interactive health and healing have been popping up in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and in community centers for homeless populations and at-risk youth. It turns out that deep sense of well-being you get from an afternoon weeding and pruning isn’t all in your head — though your head benefits too! Additional benefits include stress relief, improved mental and brain health as well as offering another source of exercise and movement.

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Garden Tasks for March:

  • Prepare your vegetable garden soil for planting.  This can involve adding organic matter like processed manure or peat moss and compost to build up the soil fertility.
  • Plant peas as well as perennial vegetables like asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, artichokes.  Direct seed eggplant, Brussels sprouts, celery, leeks, onions, radishes.  Early potatoes can be planted in the garden about mid-month.
  • Spinach chard, cabbage, cauliflower and other hardy vegetables can be seeded or set out late in the month.
  • Plant strawberries Blueberries, Currants, Loganberries, Boysenberries, Grapes and fruit trees.
  • Start tomatoes, lettuce and many other vegetable seeds indoors.

 

image_miniWe highly recommend the Seattle Tilth’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide to help you plan and stay on track.  It’s a month-by-month guide tailored specifically to our climate here and a great resource whether you’re a beginner or expert gardener.  The guide outlines each month’s garden tasks and lists hundreds of vegetable, herb and flower varieties that do especially well here in the Pacific Northwest. It even includes strategies for year-round gardening, articles about organic gardening techniques, resources, recipes and activities for kids! Get your copy here or at select natural grocery stores around the Seattle Area.

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