Tuesday, March 24, 2009

17th Century Garden Tips for March

"In March, the Moon being new, sow Garlic, Chervil, Marjoram, white Poppy, double Marigolds, Thyme and Violets. At the full Moon, Chicory, Fennel and Apples of Love. At the wane, Artichokes, Basil, Cucumbers, Spinach, Gillyflowers, Cabbage, Lettuce, Burnets, Leeks and Savory."

Gervase Markham, The English Housewife, 1683

Keep in mind this advice was written for seventeenth-century England. To learn the proper dates to plant herbs, vegetables and flowers in your garden, contact your local nursery, Cooperative Extension service or Master Gardeners.


  1. I love your blog and your quotes!

    I want to plant a veggie garden but my eyes are bigger than my skills and commitment. With all the amazing things that can be grown, it's hard not to want to plant every basic veggie plus all the crazy and unusual things I see in the seed catalogs.

    My planting area is small and can get a lot of sun though there are some shady areas I could plant in also. I want to spend just a little time and I haven't got any know-how yet. I want a starter victory garden that's a sure bet but includes a little flare.

    Any advice? Thanks!

  2. Hi Kathy:

    Thanks for your message! Here are a few tips for growing a manageable vegetable garden:

    1)Start small at first so you can keep up with your garden.

    2)Consider containers for plants like lettuces grown from seeds or cherry tomatoes started from transplants. Keep in mind you'll probably need to water these containers daily.

    3)Ask neighbors, local gardening centers, cooperative extension services or master gardener organizations which plants grow well in your area.

    4)Research the particular growing needs of your plants. For example, how much sun will they need? How big will they eventually grow? Are they hot- or cool-weather vegetables? Knowing these growing requirements will help you plan accordingly.

    5)Most importantly, have fun.

  3. This is helpful to get me going - thanks