March in our zone 7 is time where we begin to gear up for what is to come in the next couple of months in the garden. By March we have passed our 8 weeks until last frost date and we are starting to see a few warmer days mixed in with the cool weather (and abundance of rain). By now you should have started your warm season annuals such as peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes. If you haven't however, now is the time to do so in order to have an early May harvest. Also, March is time to begin direct seeding asparagus, peas, lettuce, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, mustard, collards, and kale.
• Seed the remainder of warm-season transplants. Tomato transplants require 6 to 8 weeks, so a March 1 seeding provides transplants for a May 1 transplant date under good conditions.
• Prepare garden soil if conditions allow. Remember that if you are tilling in a cover crop, a few weeks may be needed to decompose the cover crop material. Also allow time for other organic materials to break down if not fully composted to prevent competition with plants for nutrients.
• Seed or transplant cool-season crops. Hardy cool-season crops are usually seeded or transplanted 4-6 weeks before the frost free date, while less cold hardy cool-season crops are usually started 2 weeks prior.
• Install row covers or low tunnels over early season transplants to increase day and night temperatures and support season growth.
• Don’t forget to harden off any transplants to reduce stress and loss once placed in the ground.