Quick Guide to Spring Gardening in Southwest Idaho

March your Idaho garden into April:

Idaho really has two garden seasons:  cool-early and warm-to-scorching-later.  Most of the cool weather crops will not be worth planting once we hit June.
Evaluating Your Interplanting in Your Garden During Fall Clean Up

Plant cool weather crops like peas, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach directly in the garden as soon as weather permits, typically mid March.  This is one reason why fall clean-up can be a good idea. Also, take advantage of volunteer seedlings.  Learn to identify them!
Let Us Have Lettuce in August in Southwest Idaho

Start some seeds, such as peppers, small herbs, and flowers that take a long time to reach good size (petunias, snap dragons, portulaca) as early as mid February.
10 Criteria for Deciding Which Garden Seeds to Start Early in Your Greenhouse

Plant other seeds indoors, i.e. tomatoes and basil, about the beginning of April, or 6-8 weeks before last frost (last frost is somewhere around mid May)  This is also a good time to start some flower seeds, like nasturtium and thunbergia vines, See blog for ideas about grow lights.
Easy Grow Light Stand for Seedlings

Don’t forget to harden off anything that has begun life in a pot.

Directly plant things like carrots, onions, beets, and potatoes when chances of a hard frost are past, typically sometime in April or May.

Wait to plant seeds for warm weather crops like beans, zucchini, corn, squash, melons, and cucumbers until right around the last frost date, or when snow is no longer on Bogus Basin.  There is not usually a benefit from starting them ahead in pots.

Idaho is an arid climate.  If you want to try to grow those things like blueberries and azaleas that prefer the forest, try it in a northeast, semi-protected section of the landscape.  However, be aware that in the heat of July and August they will probably suffer even in the afternoon shade.  It is hard to reach a balance between enough sun and maintaining moisture.  Not to mention they often need acidic soil and we tend to have alkaline soil.
How to Keep Track of Watering Your Garden

Consider adding chickens to your garden plan.  They love to compost; and homegrown eggs are delicious!
Pre Spring Evaluation of Chicken Coops, Nesting Boxes, and Predator Protection Measures

 

my greenhouse work bench ready to go

my greenhouse work bench ready to go

 

About Laura Blodgett

I am just an ordinary 53 year old woman having extraordinary fun!  My fun right now includes barefoot running, swimming, triathlon training, gardening, discovering how to be a grandma (going by the grandma name of "Lulu"), sewing, studying Mandarin Chinese, learning about the stock market, non-institutional Christian fellowship, cooking, and occasional traveling. Read more about me here!