Urban Almanac

March 2019 Almanac

By Staff

March 1 Sun rise 7:01am, sunset 6:18pm. Salt Lake temperatures average 49° F / 32° with an average eight or nine days of rain.

March 2 Time to start outdoor composting. Get an enclosed bin if you compost food waste. Position where it will get sun, and get into the habit of rotating it daily (or almost).

March 3 Spare the dandelions! (Or even plant them.) They attract beneficial ladybugs. They are the bee’s first food. Their deep taproot draws soil nutrients closer to the surface. You can eat them. Children love them.

March 4 For fun, if you have the space and light, try growing indoor carrots. Fill a 12-in.-deep pot with potting soil. Water thoroughly. Plant seeds. Water with misting bottle. Needs at least six hours of sunlight each day.

March 5 ‘Bye-bye Mardi Gras beads? Their paint often contains lead, cadmium and other heavy metals. The beads are not biodegradable, either.

March 6 NEW MOON, 9:03. A great day to start something new, like maybe planting by the moon. The next few days would be the time for lettuce and other leafy greens.

March 7 Clover is gaining popularity as a lawn alternative. A legume, it makes its own fertilizer by “fixing” nitrogen from the air into its roots. The drought-resistent clover grows in poor soil and attracts pollinators (unless you mow it). You needn’t even dig up your old lawn: Just cast the seeds over it and water regularly till established. Choose a type that likes the higher pH of Utah’s soils.

March 8 Sing to your seeds. There is evidence that the dulcet sound of a woman’s voice encourages plants to grow, according to the Royal Horticultural Society. Start your warm-weather seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants) under grow-lights now.

March 9 Weather permitting, spend some time in your yard tidying up—brown bin collection starts Monday, for those items you’re not equipped to compost.

March 10 Daylight Saving Time begins. Turn clock one hour deasil (a Scottish Gaelic word for setting your clocks clockwise/forward)!

March 11 Ready for a snooze? A Boston University professor and his wife created National Napping Day in 1999 to spotlight the health benefits of catching up on quality sleep.  Americans are more ‘nap-ready’ today than usual after losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Saving Time.

March 12 Window washing solution: 2 cups cold water, 1/4 cup each white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Mix in a spray bottle. Use on an overcast day so you can see the streaks better.

March 13 Bumblebeewatch.org relies on volunteer bee-spotters. Create an account. Learn how to photograph bees from the photo-tip link. Submit your photo via the website’s record a siting form.

March 14 Albert Einstein’s birthday. “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

March 15 Got insomnia? Check your chocolate consumption. An after-dinner dark chocolate may have as much caffeine as a soda.

March 16 Lips are 100 times more sensitive than fingertips. Lips don’t have any sweat glands, causing them to dry up quickly, particularly if you breathe with your mouth open while asleep. Drinking more water can help.

March 17 The “snakes” that St. Patrick was said to have driven out of Ireland were a barely disguised metaphor for the Pagans, who had long lived in that land and who celebrated the vernal equinox (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) around this time.

March 18 How about trying mass transit today and celebrating Transit Driver Appreciation Day? “Transit drivers don’t have an easy job, they just make it look that way.”

March 19 Goddess of Fertility Day (the day before the Spring Equinox) honors Aphrodite/Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation.

March 20 Spring Equinox, 3:58 . FULL MOON, 7:42pm. Indoor carrots. Want an early carrot crop? Water thoroughly. Plant seeds in a 12″ deep pot. Needs at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

March 21 Has any reader grown the Japanese haskap  (aka Yezberry, Lonicera caerulea or Sweetberry Honeysuckle)? Purportedly very hardy, grows in sun or part shade, is indifferent to soil type, blooms early, requires average watering and no spraying or pruning, with fruit the size of olives, that taste like a cross between a raspberry and a blueberry. We’re thinking of ordering some and would like to hear your experience!

March 22 The pecan is the only nut tree native to North America. Pecan trees will grow and flower in Utah but are unlikely to bear nuts, as the summer is not quite long enough (yet).

March 23 “OK” may be the most widely used expression in the world. It began as a joke in a Boston newsroom in 1839, standing in for “all correct.” Why not “AC”? Um, editors love typo jokes.

March 24 Yum, non-tuberculous mycobacteria. It (and other mycobacteria) grows inside showerheads. Healthy people needn’t worry. To be on the safe side, sick people might let the water run for 30 seconds to flush out the bacteria before stepping into the shower.

March 25 Thank a spider today. Spiders eat flies, fleas and mosquitoes. Wouldn’t you prefer a hard-working, hungry spider in your house?

March 26 Start planting beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes, spinach and turnips if the soil is dry enough.

March 27 Plant and transplant fruit trees, shrubs, grape vines, strawberries, raspberries and roses.

March 28 Hops grow well here. Buy rhizomes from brewing shops or get a runner from a friend. Hops blossoms smell great. The vine grows fast. They’re drought tolerant but need water to flower. Hops have a long history as a sleep aid (via consuming and inhaling)—see more at TheSleepDoctor.com

March 29 As if you didn’t already have great reasons to play in the garden: Research shows ongoing exposure to Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacteria normally found in dirt, strengthens the immune system and also acts as an antidepressant, boosting serotonin production.

March 30 Sensitive to gluten? Try bread made with the flour of ancient grains, such as einkorn or kamut.

March 31 Sunrise 7:13 ,  Sunset 7:51. Average temperature: 58ºF / 38º.

This article was originally published on February 28, 2019.