What Seeds to Start In March – Zone 4 Belgrade, MT

It’s officially March and we can really get into the fun of seed starting in Belgrade, MT (Zone 4).  Below you will find a list of plants that I am starting indoors during the month of March.  Keep in mind, just because you don’t see a specific plant on this list does not mean you cannot start it indoors in March.  Do some additional research into the specific plant you’re growing and make a plan from there!

 

  • Broccoli
    • I am starting the Di Cicco variety.  It forms 4 inch heads in about 45 days and produces an abundance of offshoots.  I always look for broccoli that matures as early as possible because it is very prone to bolting (flowering) in the summer heat.  I will plant my broccoli outside around May 1st after giving it a week to harden off.  I should be able to harvest it around the middle of June before it bolts.

 

  • Brussels Sprouts
    • For the last three years I have grown Long Island Improved Brussels Sprouts.  They produce a great crop of large, excellent flavored Brussels Sprouts.  I LOVE Brussels Sprouts and tend to dedicate at least 50 square feet to them each year.  I eat them fresh in coleslaw or salads.  I also roast them in the oven or on the grill.  Additionally, any Brussels sprouts that I do not eat fresh, I blanch and freeze to eat during the winter.  I will plant these outside around May 1st after giving them a week to harden off. 

 

  • Cabbage, early
    • Early Jersey Wakefield is an early maturing green cabbage that when transplanted on May 1st, it will be ready for your Fourth of July BBQ.  Maturing in approximately 60-75 days and producing 3-4 lb heads.  It’s reliable, it matures quickly and it makes delicious coleslaw.  

 

  • Cabbage, Late
    • Premium Late Flat Dutch takes about 100 days to mature but do not overlook this variety!   It produces 10-15 pound MASSIVE heads.  I love to use it to make fermented sauerkraut. I will plant these outside around May 1st after giving them a week to harden off. This late cabbage variety will still mature in our short growing season because it will tolerate cold fall temperatures.

 

  • Calendula
    • I plant flowers with my vegetables because they attract pollinators and who doesn’t love to see flowers in their garden?!  Calendulas are actually edible as well.  I am going to make a Calendula salve this year for any skin ailments that come about throughout the year.  There are a ton of different beautiful Calendula varieties in a range of colors.  This year I am planting a Calendula Mix blend of yellows, whites and orange.  I will also be growing “Touch of Red Bluff” Calendula for another pop of color.  I will plant these outdoors at the end of May after a week of hardening off.

 

  • Cauliflower
    • This year I am planting 4 different varieties of cauliflower that will all be planted around May 1st after hardening off for a week.  I love cauliflower and dedicate around 50-100 square feet of growing space to it each season.  
      • Clementine: One of the few hybrid varieties that I grow in my garden.  I love the orange heads this variety produces and its flavor is truly unmatched.  I roast it in the oven with a touch of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Maturing in about 55 days, this cauliflower is one of the first I will harvest this year.
      • Di Sicilia Violetta: A lovely purple color adds some visual interest to the garden and to veggie trays.   A little bit later maturing at 80 days makes it ready for harvest just in time after I’ve run out of Clementine in my fridge.
      • Early Snowball: The classic cauliflower.  This variety matures over a range of 60-85 days and allows me some flexibility in harvest time.  I love to use this variety in roasted cauliflower soup.
      • Romanesco: The latest maturing cauliflower that I plant in my garden because it is worth the wait! Gorgeous green whorled heads are ready for harvest 75-100 days after being transplanted.  I love its visual interest in the garden.  

 

  • Celery
    • I will be planting 3-5 celery plants of the “Tall Utah” variety.  Celery is not my favorite vegetable but it is essential for making homemade vegetable stock.  Additionally, my chickens LOVE celery leaves and stems.

 

  • Lettuce
    • I succession plant lettuce throughout the growing season but I get my early round started in March.  Every two weeks I will start about 6 more lettuce seeds so that I have a steady supply of lettuce all summer.  I like to grow a colorful mix: Red Velvet, Speckled, Grandma Hadley’s, Winter Density, Summertime and whatever else I have extra seed packets of!  I will harden off these plants for about a week and begin my first planting around May 1.  

 

  • Peppers
    • I start my pepper seeds in the beginning of March.  I begin with my hot pepper seeds and work through to my sweet peppers towards the middle of the month.  I grow a wide range of peppers for several specific uses such as homemade hot sauce, jalapeno poppers, stuffed poblano peppers, paprika peppers for spices and more!  Later in the summer I will share some of my favorite pepper recipes. Peppers will not be planted outside until June 1st.

 

  • Marigolds
    • Similar to Calendula, I love to plant marigolds all over my garden.  The blooms are so beautiful and bring a lot of pollinators to my garden.  Marigold flowers are edible and another one of my chicken’s favorite garden snacks.  The petals can be dried and ground up to make “Poor Man’s Saffron.” 

 

  • Kale
    • A staple in my garden every year!  I harvest kale all summer long for salads, soups, dried for power greens powder and any other use that comes up.  Start kale in March, plant out in May and enjoy all summer long.  

 

  • Chives
    • While chives tend to be perennials, I still start a few new plants to put in with my annual flowers on my patio for ease of use in case last year’s crop doesn’t come back.  Or, in case I add more planters to my patio.  

 

  • Basil
    • The garden cannot have enough basil!! I plant basil near my tomatoes, in my annual flower pots and anywhere I have extra space.  I use basil in nearly every dish I cook in the summer.  I also dry it for winter use and make pesto that I freeze.  I usually have about 10 basil plants spread throughout my garden.

 

What are you starting from seed in 2023?  Need help with seed starting? Stop by 111 S Broadway in Belgrade, MT for local advice and expert growing tips.

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