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Guide to March Gardening in the U.S.

Guide to March Gardening in the U.S.

    With the dismal month of February now behind us, March gives hope of spring and new beginnings.  It’s the perfect time to start working on your spring gardening plans, even though spring doesn’t officially start until much later in the month. Much of the United States still has to contend with cold weather spells in March, but for the southern portions of the country, things are already starting to heat up.

    For many parts of the U.S., spring has already sprung or is just around the corner.  It’s an exciting time for gardeners, who have yet another chance to tend to and raise some some amazing plants, veggies, fruits, and flowers.

    Consult the guide below for recommendations on how to best tackle gardening in your region.

    All Areas –

    • If you’ve neglected your houseplants all winter, now is the time to start feeding and watering them again. If necessary, repot them, and when watering make sure not to overdo it.
    • If you have wet soil in your garden, avoid walking on it.
    • Get your soil tested so you know what you’re up against this spring and summer.

    The Regions:

    Mid-Atlantic –

    Average March Temps: Low 25.4° High 44.5° (Albany, NY) ,  Low 37° High 58.4° (Richmond, VA)

    While frost is still an issue in March, hardy annuals such as Alyssum, Dianthus, and Viola can still go out before the last expected frost. Hold off on planting your summer bulbs and tubers until the soil warms up and dries, and plant shrubs when the ground warms.  You’ll also want to wait on planting vegetables and fruits until the danger of frost has passed and the ground is no longer frozen and is actually workable.  If you have roses in your garden, prune them before buds break.

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    Midwest –

    Average March Temps:   Low 25.7° High 47.3° (Sioux City, IA),  Low 36° High 55.8° (Kansas City, MO)

    Frost is also an issue in many Midwestern states during the month of March, so you’ll want to start growing your seeds indoors.  You can also cut back grasses, as well as finish pruning shrubs.  Start spraying fruit trees.

    Northeast –

    Average March Temps: Low 25.2° High 42.2° (Portland, ME),   Low 20.1° High 38.1° (Montpelier, VT)

    It’s still rather cold in the Northeast in March, so like the Midwest, you’ll want to start your warm season seeds indoors and keep an eye on plant crowns that might have heaved out of the ground during a thaw.  Towards the end of the month as it warms up, you can start removing mulch.

    Pacific Northwest –

    Average March Temps: Low 14° High 30° (Missoula, MT),   Low 35° High 45° (Seattle, WA)

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    March in the Pacific Northwest is conducive to starting your seeds of greens indoors.  Things you can do to start preparing your garden include: deadheading early bloomers, continuing to mulch, diligently hunt slugs and set out your apple maggot traps. At the end of the month you can plant peas.

    Southeast –

    Average March Temps:  Low 33° High 53° (Birmingham, AL),  Low 50° High 72° (Orlando, FL)

    Unlike the northern parts of the country, in the southeast you can start actually planting things in the ground.  This is an excellent time to plant cool season vegetables such as lettuce, peas, root veggies, cabbage, broccoli, chard, and greens. You can also plant cool season flowers and berry bushes. Cool season greens and root crops (carrots, onions, beets, radishes, turnips) can be planted directly outdoors.  Seeds of warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant should be started indoors at this time.

    Southwest –

    Average March Temps:  Low 17° High 41° (Colorado Springs, CO),  Low 41° High 66° (Phoenix, AZ)

    The Southwestern portion of the U.S. can also start planting things outdoors beginning in March, but freezes are still possible so you’ll want to keep covers on hand.  Start out by pulling back your mulch so that the soil can warm up. You can start planting your summer bulbs, as well as beets, greens, lettuce, potatoes, and corn.  Indoors, you’ll want to start growing your eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, squash and melons – it’s still a little too cold for them.

    Regional Exceptions:

    Florida –

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    Average March Temps:  Low 64° High 80° (Miami, FL),  Low 50° High 73° (Tallahasse, FL)

    It’s tropical season in Florida right now, so for the most part you’re safe.  Cold spells can happen on occasion, so keep prepared. At this time you can begin replacing cool weather annuals with summer annuals, and start putting your perennials in the ground so they can establish. Plant your warm season crops before it gets too hot out.  You should have already started growing your citrus trees in containers, now you can transplant those outdoors.  Established citrus trees can be fertilized now, but you should wait 4 to 6 weeks to feed newly planted ones.

    Northern California –

    Average March Temps:  Low 50° High 68.6° (Chico, CA),  Low 44.5° High 69.9° (San Francisco, CA)

    In Northern California, March is the time to start planting summer blooming bulbs and tubers.  You’ll also want to prune old growth off the bougainvillea, plant potatoes, and fertilize trees and shrubs.  Feed your roses, and harden and set out seedlings. It’s a great time to start gardening!

    Southern California –

    Average March Temps:  Low 44.5° High 69.9° (Los Angeles, CA),  Low 41.9° High 74° (Carlsbad, CA)

    If you haven’t done it already, start your seeds.  It’s also time to spray fruit trees and divide fall blooming perennials.  Start scouting for slugs and snails.

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    Hawaii –

    Average March Temps:  Low 45.3° High 62.6°

    Hawaii is a year-round, gardening paradise. At this time of the year you’ll want to continue mulching and start feeding your gardenias.  It’s also time to sow a cover crop.

    Alaska –

    Average March Temps:  Low 38.1° High 51.7° (Anchorage, AK)

    While many people think of Alaska as perpetually snowy, it’s actually got four seasons and gets warm.  March, however, is still on the cold side so it’s best to start your seeds indoors right now.  You can also check on your rhubarb, it could be up.

     

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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