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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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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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