In an attempt to broaden the range of gardening advice we give here on Stoney Acres I’ve decided to invite a few guest posters to add their gardening know how to Stoney Acres. Today’s March Planting Guide for Zone 7 comes to you from Ann Caliri over at the blog LiveTheOldWay.com. Ann is a great blogger and gardener and I’m glad to have her on board with this great Zone 7 planting guide. Be sure to go visit her blog!
In Zone 7, we’re officially dreaming of spring. We’re starting seedlings indoors, organizing our gardening tools and giving the garden beds a final tilling. Even though it’s still too cold for the plants that typically come to mind when we talk about our gardens, it’s a perfect opportunity to lay in a crop of cool weather vegetables. Most of these will be done in time to rotate in our warm weather planting and many actually improve the soil for their rotation buddies. Some of our favorites and planting tips are:
March Planting Guide for Zone 7
For as delicate as it appears, Romaine Lettuce is surprisingly cold hardy. We start seedlings indoors and then transplant in early March. Our final frost date is mid-April, so we still keep an eye on the weather. If it looks like we’re in for more than a light frost, we will cover the lettuce plants to protect them. Planting early gives us a wonderfully long crop of these tasty leafy greens. In addition to Romaine, Arugula, Endive, Bok Choy, Spinach and Kale can be planted this month in Zone 7.
Cabbage is another favorite because it is so versatile. We use saved seeds that we originally started from an heirloom variety about 5 years ago. We let them go to seed on a couple of plants in the corner of the garden where they are out of the way, then harvest the pods to dry for planting the next year. Our cabbage gets started in Late January or early February with the lettuce so they can go in the ground at the same time.
No cool season garden would be complete without a beet row or two. We direct sow these seeds in March since they don’t do well being transplanted. Beets will grow well until the temperature approaches about 80 degrees so our region (7) allows for both early spring and late fall planting. Beets are incredibly nutritious and our livestock love the greens.
Carrots, Parsnips, Turnips and Radishes
Other root vegetables to plant in March are carrots, parsnips, turnips and radishes. Like their cousin the beet, these do best when sown directly where they are to grow versus transplanting.
Sugar Snap Peas, Snow Peas and English Peas are a fast maturing crop, easily grown twice a year in zone 7. Early spring planting is preferable to late fall planting though since the vines are more resistant to freezing than the pods are. Direct-sow tall or climbing varieties near a trellis for support.
Right or wrong, we also sow herb seeds and even transplant already started herbs outdoors in mid to late March. These, like the others, we cover if more than a light frost is predicted. A few that do well started in cool weather are Chives, Dill, Sage, Thyme and Cilantro. Even Basil does ok if it’s in an area that can gather a little heat during the day.
Thanks Ann for giving us this March Planting Guide for Zone 7, if you would like to learn a little more about Ann please check out her Bio below!
John and Ann are homesteaders, foragers, and owners of the instructional website LiveTheOldWay.com. They live on 85 acres in an underground passive solar house in central North Carolina. Where they focus on living off the land and utilizing “lost skills” that were once commonplace. In addition to hunting, livestock husbandry and preserving the food they grow and forage, another concentration of theirs is the use of herbal medicine; specifically using only plants and herbs that are native to the area and thus readily available in a survival situation. Ann has studied extensively with some of the foremost foraging and herbal medicine making experts in the neighboring Appalachian mountains. And enjoys utilizing this knowledge in their daily lives as well as passing on these skills to others.