So many of us are working our way toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. With that in mind we here at NDiN wanted to share some general guidelines of what to plan for on a monthly basis. Whether you’re a gardener, a beekeeper, a forager, or you keep animals, hopefully our monthly guides will help you plan ahead for the month. Depending on your exact climate you may find you need to adjust your schedule depending on your region.
March is the time that many of us can get outside and begin cleaning up the yard and start focusing on our spring and summer gardens for the year. A very few places are beginning to see the last frosts of the year and most of us are seeing sure signs of spring. Either way, it’s definitely warming up! So start gearing up to head back outside. (If you’re in a different climate you can search our archives for planners later in the year.)
- Many gardeners have already begun indoor seed starting. Average start time is 6 weeks before the last frost of the season. Be sure to read the instructions on your seed packets or refer to a well-regarded manual for the best way to start each type of seed.
- Down in the South, the Ides of March is our reference date for planting peas and onions out. Other cool weather crops like spinach and lettuces can also be planted outdoors as long as they can take a light frost. Just be sure you’re past any hard freezes in your area and be prepared with some row covers or old sheets and buckets just in case the weather turns foul.
- If it’s not too soggy from spring rains, it’s a great time to turn beds and till soil. Work in amendments and oxygen and help break up weeds.
- Now that they are coming out of dormancy, roses should be ready to be cut back and pruned.
- If tulips haven’t flowered this year, try pulling up the bulb after the foliage has died back (mark the plant with a popsicle stick) and letting them go dormant and dry out indoors over the summer. In the fall, you can replant and fertilize with compost. If it doesn’t bloom the following spring you can remove the bulb altogether.
- Cut back ornamental grasses.
Outdoor Home and Yard:
- Work on mole hills by walking over them. It’s still early enough in the year for many that seeding isn’t necessary unless you live in a runoff area.
- Make sure those gutters are repaired from winter storms as the spring rains will be upon
- Rake up late falling oak and maple leaves and pick up sticks and nuts.
- Make sure mowers and yard tools are repaired, sharpened, and ready to be used.
- Remove and spray screens (repair if needed) to clean dust and debris and improve air flow and view for those warmer days. Doing so also helps keep your windows cleaner on rainy days!
- Continue to work with birthing livestock.
- Set up fencing or housing for new purchases for this spring. Many farmers will be starting to ween and begin selling baby livestock in the next month.
- Hatcheries are really beginning to work full-force! Make sure you’ve got your egg and chick orders in!
- Keep an old towel or two by your entry way to minimize tracking in on muddy work days. Clean it up at the end of the day so your home is still tidy when you’re ready to relax.
- Finish your indoor chores during the cold mornings or rainy days. You know you’ll want to spend sunny and warm days outside, if you have the choice.
- Join us for the Real Food Challenge!!!!!