By Victoria Fuller
Top of the afternoon to you and a happy St. Patrick’s Day one and all! Whether you are Irish by birth or just in spirit there’s no denying that March 17th is one of the most fun and exciting days on the calendar!
Now as much as we here at Cedar Planters enjoy partaking in the more “traditional” forms of celebrating the passing of the patron saint of Ireland (pass the fluorescent green adult libations!), we are much more excited about the greenery taking over our social media feeds as it gives us an excuse to start really thinking about all of the flora and vibrancy that will be coming our way in the coming weeks!
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle due to its location in the North Atlantic and the presence of the gulf stream providing it a temperate climate and leading to it being one of the rainiest countries on earth, and thus one of the greenest (40 shades according to the late great Johnny Cash!), and we feel that we could all learn from a country that thrives and embraces its greenery so enthusiastically! Mid-March is the perfect time to start daydreaming and planning out your gardens for the seasons ahead!
Having customers across North America means that sitting here at the end of March some of our customers are already enjoying perfect gardening conditions (here’s looking at you Florida: 75 degrees fahrenheit and raining? Colour us jealous of this perfect gardening weather!) whereas up here in Canada we still have a few more weeks before we can even leave the house without our government-sanctioned long-johns and toques, but this just means we have all the more excitement and passion brewing to break out our gardening gloves and start green-ifying our spaces!
There are plenty of things to start cultivating in March to really green-ify your space, and they aren’t just limited to shrubs and grasses, you can really think outside the (raised garden) box! Some of our favourite green plants that you can start planting now are:
- Peas - To grow your own delicious peas you will soak the seeds overnight before planting, then sow them 1” deep in cool soil, give them about 1” of water per week, keep them in a position with 6-8 hours of sun per day and harvest them after 60-80 days!
- Lettuce - In just 30-70 days from planting these leafy greens are ready to harvest! They are also excellent for beginners to the world of gardening as they require very basic care: full sun, seeds planting 1” deep, watering twice a week and a temperature of 10-22 degrees to help them thrive!
- Chard - This leafy green is best planted 1” deep in your soil, requires full sun to thrive, only needs 1” of water per week and takes just 10 weeks to be ready for harvesting!
Evergreen Plants (for those of us still having to refresh the Weather Network App every 6-8 minutes):
- Boxwoods (best grown from seedlings, boxwoods are very low maintenance only needing around 1” of watering per week and 6 hours of sun per day).
- Rhododendrons (can be grown from seed and do require partial shade, however these beautiful blooms do require a soil acidity level of 4.5 - 5.5 pH so make sure to check and balance your soil beforehand!).
- Gardenia Bushes (these lovely members of the coffee family grow best in more humid areas with full sun and require about 1” of watering per week).
- Perennials such as the pansy can be grown in the spring! Pansies are an excellent flower for beginners as they require minimal care for maximum blooms! Plant your seeds around the time of the last frost in your region, water them regularly, and dead-head them when necessary!
Will you be embracing the luck of the Irish and planning an entirely green oasis? Or are you hoping for a vibrant tropical oasis more aligned with an equatorial climate? With a Cedar Planters raised garden bed the world is truly your oyster and we can’t wait to see how you design your own little backyard emerald isle!