The Vegetable Garden

Zones 7-8 Garden Calendar and Monthly Garden Tips - Mar - April

March

  • Make second plantings of such quickly-maturing crops as turnips, mustard, radishes and "spring onions."
  • Thin plants when they are 2 to 3 inches tall to give the plants room to grow.
  • Carry out any February jobs not completed.
  • Treat seed before planting or buy treated seed for protection against seed-borne diseases, seed decay, seedling "damping off" and soil insects such as seed-corn maggots.
  • Early-planted crops may need a nitrogen side-dressing, particularly if the soil is cool. Place the fertilizer several inches to the side of the plants and water it in. A little fertilizer throughout the growing period is better than too much at one time.
  • Before settling them in the garden, harden-off transplants - place them in their containers outdoors in a sheltered place a few days ahead of planting them.
  • Get rows ready for "warm-season" vegetables to be planted during the last week of March or first week or two of April as weather permits.
  • You might want to risk planting out a few of the more tender crops and keeping them covered during bad weather.
  • Watch out for insects, especially cutworms, plant lice (aphids) and red spider mites.
  • Put down mulch between rows to control weeds.

April

  • Plant your choices of the following "warm-season" or "frost-tender" crops: beans (snap, pole and lima), cantaloupe, corn (sweet), cucumbers, eggplant, okra, field peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
  • Plant tall-growing crops such as okra, pole beans and corn on the north side of other vegetables to avoid shading. Plant two or more rows of corn for better pollination.
  • Make a second planting within two to three weeks of the first planting of snap beans, corn and squash.
  • Within three to four weeks of the first planting, plant more lima beans and corn. Remember: for better pollination, plant at least two or more rows.
  • Be sure to plant enough vegetables for canning and freezing.
  • Cultivate to control weeds and grass, to break crusty soil and to provide aeration.
  • Maintain mulch between rows.
  • For the crops planted earlier, side-dress as described above.
  • Plant tender herbs.
  • Remember: Do not work in your garden when the foliage is wet to avoid spreading diseases from one plant to another.