March Gardening: The Spring Planting Month

 March and April are the two months that force every gardener to roll up her sleeves and get to work
 This year I have dedicated two large beds to strawberries

I have two varieties:  Sequoia, which are big the big huge guys you usually get from the farmers market
Ever-bearing, which are not actually ever bearing but are supposed to yield at least 3 sets of fruit in Spring, Summer and then again in the Fall
The biggest issue I have had with berries is the birds....I guess they love them too!
So here is my solution for now; a little bamboo structure covered with netting to keep the birds out and let the bees far so good
I used shredded redwood instead of plastic to protect the berries from slugs and mildew,
which is working out well
 These plants are loaded with young strawberries and blossoms.  I did heavily thin out all of the runners as the plants started to grow and that forces the mother plant to put all of her energy into the main plant and produce more fruit
 March is the time of year that I usually heavily fertilize too.  I use a product called Nitra King which is a 19-4-4 plus 2% iron.  You can broadcast this on the grass and in your beds and it really give the garden a jump start.
The roses get sprayed for disease and are fertilized as well...pretty much continuously, at least once a month
 The apple trees have all blossomed and have started to set their fruit.  Surrounding this structured orchard is a grape fence planted with 18 vines in a variety of good edible grapes.  Last year I didn't pay any attention to these plants and they were over taken with a mildew and never did bear any this year I'm on it!

 The Wisteria pergola is going to be a great spot to sit and the vines are starting to become a bit more established.  I might get a few flowers but more than anything I am hoping for some vigorous vines to take over the structure

 You can find tomatoes in most of the nurseries starting this month, so those are in already.  I tried a couple of grafted heirlooms this year, which are supposed to yield a better tomato on a more vigorous main stalk....another experiment.  I always put in an Early Girl too....she never disappoints us!
 I sow in a lot of mesclun and little interesting lettuce varieties.  But again, the crows are giving me challenges this year so I will have to cover this bed too.  My husband bought a BB gun to scare the birds away, which sort of works.  
My new nick name is Dead Eye Daisy....
 All of the citrus trees in the valley are blooming right now and the smell is unreal....I like to stick my head in the middle of these blossoms and just inhale
 We have 20 citrus trees in our orchard which are probably 30 to 40 years old and now have become great producers.  Lots of compost and deep watering has really brought this grove back to life

 Our big garden design project this summer will be the construction of a garden shed and a chicken coop in the open area across the bridge.   I have lots of design ideas and will be using some vintage architectural fragments, galvanized metal, shingles and old windows and doors. 

And we did get the deck finished....finally!

 here is a peek
 I will share some of the details on a future post

hope you are enjoying the first bit of spring too
lets go play in the dirt!

  1. Oh my have a "Wisteria Pergola" and all the beautiful beds...this makes realize how much we have given up living on a small lot...I do try to take care of what little earth we have...our lemon tree blossoms are heavenly right now too.

  2. I love seeing pics of your garden, Kelley. I have several new citrus trees going in this year, but oh to have 20! I hope your package will arrive today.

  3. You're putting my little corner of the world to major shame, Kelley! I absolutely love seeing your process and progress! Your yard is dreamy. I am thinking of planting some citrus to make up for some we had to take out. Maybe... It would be so great to be able to just go pick it, like we do with our one remining tree.

    And yes, the citrus is so intoxicating right now, reminds me of waking up mornings at my grandparents house...hearing the train whistles and smelling the orange blossoms...mmm...

    Xo, Chris

  4. Kelley,
    Your garden is always SO inspiring. I stopped over today b/c I wanted to "pin" your garden pics from way back I was glad to see this new post on the garden! Are those orange trees yours?? They are amazing!!!!
    We're about to create some gardens and I'm wanting your rock beds, etc to be my inspiration.
    I love all the pointers you give for the gardening and hope I can get ours going like this one day too.
    thx for sharing....

  5. I got to work in my garden this weekend, was great. It just needs a few tweaks here and there and it will be ready for summer. We laid a bunch of fresh shredded cedar as well, crossing my fingers it helps with the snails. Last year they were awful. Everything in your garden looks beautiful, as usual.

  6. Do you get wafts of orange blossom on your new deck?

  7. Your garden looks fabulous -- and productive. So many citrus trees. I admire you. I cannot keep up with harvesting one lemon tree. Maybe you have explained this before, but do you sell your crops? If so, I wish I lived in your neighborhood.
    All the best...Victoria

  8. Kelley,
    Your garden posts always inspire me. Our yard doesn't have enough full-sun space to grow much in the way of edible plants but I do grow my own herbs and may try some lettuce (as a border) this spring. I really think your garden layout is so maximizes the beauty while providing a ton of yummy dining possibilities.

  9. I am so happy to hear such great comments from my favorite gardeners out there. Victoria, we actually don't sell our fruit but give it away to the local food bank. Alot of it ends up in the compost bin which is fine too. We have two huge lemon trees and two smaller Meyer lemons which are hevy producers. I use lemon juice for everything! I have not gotten any new herbs in but those will be next on the list for the raissed beds

    Thank you all so much stopping by!

    xx kelley

  10. Enjoy seeing your garden. The orange trees look so inviting. I'm having a garden apron giveaway for all you gardening lovers.

  11. A-MAZING! And so glad gardening season is back for your posting! Unfortunately here in the Boston area no such luck even with unusually warm temps- we can always have snow in April!! I have a small pot of "everbearing" strawberries that I put on the sunny corner of the house on a whim and they have all but climbed up to the roof, each year getting more and more plants/runners and I don't do a thing but collect the strawberries (about 2 qts last year!) I am looking forward to putting more energy and actual involvement in the yard/gardens this year (usually the hubby does it) and I love the tips!

  12. Kelley, your backyard looks like a lovely park, it truly does. So many wonderful areas to sit and gaze. So many areas to pick natures bounty. Thank you for the fertilizer recommendation I will be trying that this year! Looking forward to more post on your lovely landscaping project, Kathysue

  13. Kelly I've been reading your blog for awhile, and it's truly inspirational. My husband and I plowed down more of our property last year. He built me a beautiful chicken coop, we put in a potager garden and I planted tons of lavender. This year we want to clean up the yard more and plant fruit trees, and I'm also looking into a reflection pond. I would rather work in yard, then go to the gym any day.


  14. Hi!

    I agree, yard work is the best work!

    xx kelley

  15. Hi Kelley! I have been following your blog for quite a while now(you were my first!) Having grown up in Ojai I remain especially fond of your blog, I can almost smell the orange blossoms! I love your style and I was wondering if I might be able to post the pictures of your metal buckets that are stenciled with numbers on my blog in the near future?
    Thanks, and maybe I'll see you around Ojai sometime while visiting family!

  16. I came over after seeing your burlap lamp shade on Pinterest, and I've been enjoying myself so much ~ just scrolling through your beautiful posts. Not only beautiful photos, wonderful ideas, and inspiration, but I love the way you write. I'll be back. laurie


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