March Gardening in Montana: What You Can Start Now
It's my favorite time to start the most useful seeds indoors. They're edible, good looking and easy to grow.
Basil is one of the best plants to grow from seed. With just a sunny window, you can grow your own basil in every growing zone, without any fancy equipment or experience. It's truly the seed of champions. (There are a few others you can start this early.)
Just imagine making your own pesto from scratch! I've been growing different kinds of basil for years but have yet to make my own. Crazy, right?
My early-season indoor set up is extremely simple. There are rules I try to adhere to until we truly get closer to good weather: a) don't start too many different kinds of seeds, b) re-use clamshell food containers for mini greenhouses, c) plant only enough small trays that will fit on my narrow table next to the south facing window.
Those simple "rules" keep me in check in two ways. First, my seed trays are not complicated with too many seed varieties that have different needs. Second, by limiting the space I allow myself to use in this early season, I won't destroy my living room. You'd be amazed at how quickly things get out of hand.
Basil is just EASY. The picture shown is of two small trays of traditional Genovese Basil that I started a couple weeks ago. My sunny window hasn't been quite as warm as they'd like as we had that severe cold snap...so they're not very big yet.
This year I have had no trouble ordering any seed varieties I wanted, and that wasn't the case last year. Because of the pandemic, people were looking for simple ways to stay busy at home. "Gardening" always seems to fit that bill. No matter if you're preparing for a much larger gardening project outside or you just want a few pots of herbs, starting certain seeds now will give you a jump start.
Basil is not fond of cold temperatures so make sure you're growing it in a warm, sunny window and don't put it outside too soon in the season. It will not tolerate any kind of frost...believe me, I know :-)