March Garden Chores: First Tuesday Garden Party of 2012!


It was so nice to read all your comments and emails telling me how much you are looking forward to the new season and the Tuesday Garden Party- thank you! I love it, too, and am so glad to have you guys to share it with! So without further ado…

What garden chores have you accomplished by this first weekend of March- or what do you hope to accomplish?

If not for a glorious weekend, I might have been in the “here’s what I hope to get done” camp, but with temps in the 60s I was itchin’ to get my hands in the dirt last Saturday.


My asparagus beds looked like this when I arrived in the garden. I know I’m supposed to cut them down in November…but I think I’ve confessed to being a “fair weather gardener” haven’t I?

Plus by November I’m totally in a holiday mode. It’s like, “asparagus? what asparagus?”

Forty-five minutes later it’s all cleaned and ready for the spears to sprout. Last year I had trouble with late frosts, so I covered each mound with a protection of fall leaves to see if I can’t save those early spears from frost damage.


Cutting the brown asparagus fronds down should’ve only taken about 30 minutes, but I had to stop and weed out a number of these babies. On the right is a thistle-type plant and on the left is my least favorite early spring weed we’ve dubbed “poppers” (don’t you love my high-falutin’ sounding botanical names?) because if you let that pretty little white flower go to seed before it’s pulled, a thousand seeds will pop from it when it’s touched.

Seriously pop – I’ve had them fly up into my eyes and hair! I remember writing about them last year, too- so obviously I don’t get to them all before they pop.

I’m living on the wild side (you know that’s tongue-in-cheek, don’t you?) here at AOC by planting a few rows of early vegetables. Just to see how they fare. It all depends on our weather and some years we have cool and crazy springs (like the last two) and some are mild and wet.

Around the onions I planted in the fall (above) I sowed three rows of early spinach. If you look closely in the upper right corner, you can see the 2 little spinach plants that survived from the fall sowing. Or I should say, the third fall sowing. It was not a good fall for spinach.


In this bed – the upper part of one of my 12-foot beds (you can see the old, dead tomato plants I’ve yet to clean up in the other part *cough*) – I sowed two rows of carrots and two rows of beets.

I’ve no idea how these will turn out, but I have learned I can do at least one thing to help them out a little:

Sprinkle slug bait all around them. If I didn’t they’d have no chance whatsoever.

So now it’s just up to the weather.

What are you guys up to in your gardens? I can’t wait to see!


  1. says

    Between light snow showers, I noticed that the rhubarb is sprouting up, thankfully that means spring is near. Not a day too soon! Thanks for hosting.

  2. says

    So glad to have TGP back. Thanks for the email reminder.

    I went out yesterday and cut back my roses and did a little bit of weeding. I’m tempted to set out a few veggies since the temps have been so warm already but then we had a freeze this morning! May still do it and use a row cover for protection.

  3. says

    Please don’t tempt me with planting veggies! I’m trying to contain myself until March 17th when I do my traditional planting of snap peas. Since the winter has been pretty mild, I may start putting in lettuce and spinach then, too.

    My post today is about my compost pile, and includes 2 quickie videos about my compost bucket, more for experiment than anything else.

    • Jami@ An Oregon Cottage says

      I’m always interested in compost posts- I don’t do well with ours at all. I’ll be sure to check yours out!

  4. says

    Wow – TGP is back and bigger than ever. I don’t know if I’ll even get through each week’s submissions linkups. That’s exciting. you’re my inspiration to post each week so I’m glad to be back!!

  5. says

    I played in the dirt on Sunday and it felt SO good! I got the front yard cleaned up quite a bit, but I’m looking forward to some more spring-like days!

  6. says

    Hi Jami! Lovely to be back at the Tuesday Garden Party–thank you so much for hosting. We have a new blog format for everyone to explore this time around. Had a hubby who had emergency surgery earlier this year, so I got a little behind with gardening tasks, but am making up for lost time, most especially in the next few days–supposed to go up in the 60s here! Take care!

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      And it did, Athena! Absolutely lovely…now to just remember these days in the weeks of rain to come. 😉 Oh, sorry to hear about your husband- hope all is well!

  7. SchneiderPeeps says

    I’m so glad TGP is back. I love seeing what everyone else is doing in their gardens. It doesn’t even feel like we’ve had a winter here, it’s been very warm. Thanks for hosting this each week!

  8. says

    Yay for TGP! A great ‘excuse’ to get outside!
    Wow! You have a BIG bed of Asparagus! I’m thinking of planting some this year ~ we love it so! It will be hard to wait for three years to harvest, though! I just need to find a good place to put it. Do deer bother asparagus?
    Happy Tuesday!

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Funny thing about deer- some swear that they’ve never touched their asparagus beds and others say they’ll eat anything and love asparagus. Do you think it matters what type of deer (black tail, mule, etc.)?

  9. Anonymous says

    No links or anything, but I’ve been playing in the dirt too. I found out you could “store” Jerusalem artichokes in the ground, so have just been digging a dozen or so at a time. I’m thinking with this warmer weather they may all sprout new plants, so dug the remaining 2/3 gallon – will wash and keep in a baggie with the zip a little open in the vegetable crisper. I will replant a few later, but not to worry, you never really get them all dug, so the strays will come up anyway. If you grow these, consider confinement – they might be considered invasive. They are super easy – have not had any pests – just water and ignore. They flower yellow, like a small sunflower. They grow 5-6 feet tall and in the Fall, you can trim down to about 1-2 feet, so you can find the tubers later. Pretty fun.

    brenda from ar

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Brenda, this is intriguing- I’ve never eaten or grown jerusalem artichokes. Do you have recipes? That they seem so easy to grow and have during the winter is tempting me to try them- but I should probably buy some somewhere to eat first to see if we’d even like them! :-)

    • Anonymous says

      I was researching some health problems and read that they were an inulin-containing food, so just grabbed some at Wally World. Inulin isn’t people food, but it feeds the good bacteria in your system keeping things in better balance (happy gut). I just chop in little cubes along with carrots, celery (any hard vegetables), soak in homemade Italian dressing, then add to the rest of the salad just before serving. Or just munch on them straight from the fridge. Go with small amounts initially – they can have “the bean effect” in large amounts. They can be cooked something like a potato, but that didn’t impress me. I like them raw and crunchy.

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Yes, Barb and Beth- it’s awful – but not as bad as the violets for me. Now that’s the one I truly hate. :-)

  10. says

    Thanks for hosting- just linked up for the first time! :) I have also found crushed egg shells are good insect control especially for slugs snails- sharp edges cut them up… Apparently they won’t/can’t cross copper either so you can get copper “tape” strips and put them around your beds (easier if you have raised beds) and they can’t get in or out… I’ve also heard beer traps work well but haven’t tried them myself. :) Look forward to connecting more!

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Welcome Savannah and Chara!

      I’ve tried all kinds of things, but slugs are really voracious here and in the vegetable garden I”ve got to go with what works for sure or we won’t get any food! I use egg shells and beer in the flower garden- both with so-so success (and the beer is disgusting with 20 disintegrating slugs in it!!). Oh, and that is an organic slug bait.

  11. Lexa says

    Jami- Thanks a gain for hosting the Tuesday Garden Party. You should feel good about any garden clean-up that you have accomplished. Normally at this time of the year, we are still stuck inside with all of the rain. Anything that you get done now is a bonus! Also, I HATE bittercress weed too. I read recently that one of it’s “folk” name is Jumpin’ Jesus ( becasue of the seeds) I love that , so I call it that now and it doesn’t seem quite so bad!

  12. says

    I’m so excited to have found your blog from The Redeemed Gardener! What a great linky idea. I can’t wait to participate!!

    I don’t have anything to share yet as far a pictures go, but my son and I made another raised bed this week. We homeschool and I thought he could use some more “Woodshop” credits. :-) My dad recently gave us all the wood from a 5 year old deck. So, we’ve got many more beds awaiting to be made. I’m so excited to double my garden size this year. Whoopie!

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Glad you’re here, Kathleen!

      I think that’s a great idea for your son to help- gotta get the kids involved any way we can. 😉 Just make sure the wood is not treated, though- it can leach into the soil- and then the veggies.

  13. says

    Hi Jami,

    I can’t wait to join your garden party as soon as the weather gets a little better here in the Northeast. We have a few things peeking out of the soil, but not much. Thank you for sending the email and for hosting. I’ve always enjoyed this group.

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      I haven’t tried this, Clint, though I’ve used E. Salts around plants for a fertilizer. I read online that some have luck with it as a slug deterrent and others don’t, so I’l try it around flowers first to see if it works against our voracious slugs. Thanks for the tip! (The bait I was using is organic, though).

  14. says

    Thank you for the kind words over at Minerva’s Garden, Jami, and thank you for liking us on Facebook–much appreciated!

    You mentioned that you are going to move your blog to another hosting setup, and asked for any tips, so I thought I’d leave a comment here in reply. I am a real beginner when it comes to working on a blog backstage, but I have learned quite a bit in the process–we moved 2 blogs from to as self-hosted sites, and created another one from scratch. (In all honesty, my goal for Minerva’s Garden was to get the move done before Tuesday Garden Party started, so that helped keep me moving and motivated!) One big tip is to back everything up at your old site before you try to make the move, because you have a ton of data from the old site that you’ll probably want to move to the new one (I had not as much as you, but still a fair amount. I couldn’t find any easy way to back up pages, and pretty much had to do them all by hand, which took quite a while.) If everything works correctly, you should be able to just export the old blog onto your computer as an xml file, (it’s in the Tools section on the dashboard), and then import it to your new blog on the FTP server; for me, this was at the host site, which is Go Daddy, but there are several others. I had a great deal of trouble moving the old blog content to the new one for this particular blog (not a lick of trouble moving the other one–go figure)–finally someone at was kind enough to email the content to me in a xml file, because I never could download it myself. Another tip is to select a web host that offers good customer support, because I was on the phone to them a ton during this process. I’ve been pretty happy with Go Daddy in this regard; they have concierges whose sole job is to help you get things set up from behind the scenes, so that was very helpful. They helped me with forwarding/pointing the domain names in the right directions, which is kind of tricky to do if you’ve not done it before, as I had not. They won’t help you with working out problems with itself, and the Codex leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. It’s probably good for someone with more computer experience, and code experience, than myself. I found parts helpful and a lot of it over my head. I found a helpful website called Blogging With Amy that provided a lot of tips for beginners like me who want to start a blog. I’m not affiliated with her or paid by her in any way to promote her site; I just found some of her articles easy to understand and helpful. It was fun once I actually got going in–a lot more options in terms of site layout and design elements, and adding code was pretty simple by using the html options in the theme I selected, or in widgets. I wish you well on this endeavor–I found it challenging because I am new to it all, but it was really nice when it was done, and I could just go in and resume writing once again!

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