Gardening Sowing Seeds

Seeds to Sow: Early March

20160301C.jpgIt is truly in March that the seed sowing season begins. Of course, I’ve seen many enthusiastic gardeners gushing over their new seedlings of tomatoes and peppers on Facebook over the last few weeks, but, in most cases, they’ve jumped the gun. I used to start my seeds too early as well: it’s hard to resist those lengthening days. You feel you just have to sow something.

Well, I’ve become wiser as I grow older. I’ve learned that what I want are not spindly, overgrown plants that have a hard time recuperating when I plant them out, but young, energetic seedlings that may look small but will take off like a rocket once they’re outdoors. So I hold back. In gardening, you sometimes have to rein in your enthusiasm if you want the best results.

You can’t find the seed variety of your dreams on the following list? It’s probably too early to sow it: early March is really very early to be sowing plants for the outdoor garden. You’ll see that I’ll be publishing further lists of seeds to sow every two weeks throughout the spring period. Patience: your plant’s turn will come.

Seeds to Sow in Earlhy March

  1. Alternanthera (Alternanthera spp.)
  2. Clematis (Clematis)
  3. Climbing Snapdragon (AsarinaLophospermumMaurandya asarina)
  4. Columbine (Aquilegia)
  5. Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria)
  6. English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
  7. Flowering Maple (Abutilon)
  8. Goatsbeard (Aruncus)
  9. Honeywort (Cerinthe major)
  10. Houseleek or hen and chicks (Sempervivum)
  11. Ivy Pelargonium (Pelargonium peltatum)
  12. Knautia (Knautia)
  13. Knotweed (perennials) (Persicaria and Polygonum)
  14. Leek (Allium porrum)
  15. Leopard’s Bane (Doronicum)
  16. Madagascar periwinkle or vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
  17. Mealy Sage (Salvia farinacea)
  18. Penstemon (annual forms) (Penstemon hartwegiiP. gloxinioides, etc.)
  19. Red Valeriane (Centranthus rubra)
  20. Silver Sage (Salvia argentea)
  21. Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea, syn. Spilanthes acmella)
  22. Wax Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
  23. Zonal Pelargonium (Pelargonium hortorum)

Note that this list was developed for gardeners from northern climates, such as Canada, the Northeastern United States and colder parts of Europe, where the date of the average last frost is in late May or early June. For readers who garden in more temperate regions, I suggest you consult a specialist in your area to find out what to sow in March.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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