Our Interior Alaska Planting Schedule For March
This is the first of a three part series of our indoor seeding efforts, including what we plant and when. If you’re interested jumping ahead to April or May, we have these monthly guides too!
This guide generally follows our published planting schedule for USDA zones 2a through 4b. We have also established date corrections for other northern zones.
Our planting schedule generally identifies specific dates, but you should recognize that these are suggestions and not absolutes.
There will be very little difference in plants that you seed days apart from one another. The general goal of the seed planting schedule is to get your plants roughly to the correct size for outdoor transplanting. A few days, either direction, simply will not make a difference.
We generally like to schedule our planting for the weekends since we tend to have more time on these days. At least in our case, we try to target the nearest weekend (before or after the date) that makes the most sense.
One last thing. We generally update our seed schedule far more frequently than our individual site articles. Our seed schedule is our most up-to-date and complete reference we have on this site.
Seeds You Should Plant Around March 9th
- Onions (Long day varieties only)
- Asparagus (Perennial)
- Begonia Tubers
- Wax Begonia & Tubers
Seeds You Should Plant Around March 16th
Seeds You Should Plant Around March 21st
- Green Onion
- Shasta Daisy
- Dusty Miller
Seeds You Should Plant Around March 28th
- Artichoke / Cardoon
- Althea Zebium
Our March Planting Commentary
Our official garden kickoff is usually in early March. This is when we start planting our seeds in our indoor garden. Our general goal each year is to get started about 12 weeks before our last frost in Interior Alaska.
In March, it can be really hard to believe it by looking outside, but summer is not all that far away! The next 12 weeks go by super fast as the days get longer and longer. It’s such an exciting time to be a northerner – we’ve grown tired of the winter and start to get excited about summer!
What To Do Before You Put Seeds In Dirt?
When March arrives, we all ready have a game plan. We have a fairly accurate idea of what we are going to plant and how much of it we need to plant. Also, we have all ready planned out and purchased all our seeds we’ll use for the year.
We always stress that it’s a good idea to have a plan. It’s so easy to get carried away when you’re planting seeds. Early in the season, it seems like you have an infinite amount of indoor growing space. In your mind, you have acres of land that you can put all these plants in! Room for this, room for that! Why not start this early and get ahead?
Reality is eventually going to hit you like a two ton heavy thing. Come April, you are going to be swimming in plants. Then comes May and you will be running out of room with nowhere to put them.
Planting too much, too early will severely restrict your indoor growing space for things you also want to grow later!
Before you put plants in dirt, you of course need dirt. In very early March, we put in for any seedling mix and potting soil mixes that we need. We are experienced gardeners, so we know we need about 10-12 cubic feet of potting soil and should replenish seedling mixes, if needed.
In year’s past, we’ve strongly recommended seedling mixes to start your seeds in. They are sterile, which helps you avoid a lot of problems like fungus and moss.
We’ve been experimenting with some high quality potting soils over the last several years. This is the only potting soil we’d recommend for the seeding process and we’ve found it to be relatively sterile compared to many brands.
It’s also very important to follow your seed schedule for planting your seeds. If you started things like cucumber or tomatoes this early, they will be unwieldy and humongous by the time it’s safe to put them outside.
Exercising caution and executing on a plan will help you at every step of this process. It will save you a lot of stress and impulsive buying just to take care of your plant babies.
Preparing Your Indoor Grow Space For The Season
Before we get started, typically in very early March, we prepare our indoor grow space to raise our plants.
This usually involves getting our indoor lighting set up and dragging out all of our germination and growing supplies from storage.
We do a double check on the timer for our lighting, aiming typically for about 14 to 16 hours of light per day. You can set it up to run day or night, but we usually prefer night. The main reason for this is to allow us to check on our plants when we get home from work.
If you want to save a little money, 14 hours of lighting per day is fully sufficient. 16 hours per day will give you a little more growth.
We like to clean and disinfect our growing tables and other growing equipment. This just helps us avoid problems before they start.
We also spend a little bit of time just making sure we have everything we need (seeds, equipment, etc.) so there aren’t any surprises over the coming months.
Getting Through March Is The Easy Part!
Fortunately for us, March is a relatively light month for planting seeds. There is so much more to come.
April is by far our busiest planting month. This is when the overwhelming majority of our fruits, vegetables and flowers are seeded. We’ll be planting hundreds of seeds in April. If you’re ready for a sneak peek at the next steps, check out our April growing guide!
That’s All We Wrote!
Having a good time? We have an ever growing list of insightful and helpful subarctic & cold climate gardening articles, waiting out there for you!
- Cold Climate Gardening Basics →
- Growing Your Garden From Seed Indoors →
- Advanced Cold Climate Gardening Techniques →
- Plant Specific Cold Climate Growing Guides →
- Subarctic Perennial Food Forests & Foraging →
- Indoor Garden Lighting & Grow Rooms →
- Greenhouses & Temperature Control →
- Harvesting & Food Preservation →
- Solving Cold Climate Garden Problems →
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Thank you for sharing all of the information on when to start seeds indoors for all the many varieties!
I will be following your caledar this spring as I try to maximize yield in the garden this summer.
You are welcome, thanks for the comment! Good luck with your garden this year!
Season’s Greetings – am done with holiday shopping and have started seed shopping. Just came across your seed starting schedules, etc tonight as part of Google Search. Would LOVE to know who you folks are ?? Am a transplant from Wisconsin – 22 yrs experience now gardening in the Interior. Am a member of the committee for the UAF Community Garden and started a mentoring program for our gardeners last year since many folks have very little experience gardening. So was quite excited to come across your very detailed information. Would to hear from you. Valerie
Greetings Valerie! Thanks for the kind comments. We are Jeff & Kayde, just a couple of active gardeners that have been practicing in cold climates for many years! We gardened at UAF for a few years when we were getting started here in the Interior. Glad you found us! If you’re on Facebook, we are pretty active over the summer and post a lot of our activities!
I love your website, easy to use and find things.
Thanks for the kind comment! Glad you found it helpful!