Welcome to the GRS Garden Project. Every month, my wife and I track how much time and money we spend growing food. This is the report for March 2011. (Here are the results for 2008 and the results for 2009. We rested in 2010.)

March is usually a time for Kris and me to get back to work in the garden. The weather warms, and we get to watch as our first sprouts poke through the soil. This year? Not so much. It was a cool, wet month.

The average temperature in March was about 46 degrees Fahrenheit — which is below normal for this time of year. In fact, Portland just had a record stretch between 60-degree days. The last such day came in early December. We usually get a couple of 60-degree days in February, but if the clouds hadn’t parted on the afternoon of March 31st, this year we wouldn’t have had a warm day until April.

Meanwhile, rainfall was nearly 75% above normal for the month. If that rain had all been concentrated over a few days, we might have done some work in the garden. But it wasn’t. It rained 28 days in March. Twenty of those days saw 1/10th of an inch of rain or more. It was so wet last month that the peas we planted after returning from Africa simply rotted in the ground. And now it’s too late to plant replacements. So, we probably won’t have peas this year. (Which is sad, because I love peas!)

No peas!

As you’ve probably deduced, between the cool weather and the heavy rainfall, Kris and I did nothing on our garden in March. In fact, we did nothing in the yard. The lawn did get mowed — but not by us. It’s been far too wet for my mower. But we were making dinner last Monday night, when Kris asked, “Is somebody mowing the yard?”

Sure enough. There was the Real Millionaire Next Door on his riding lawnmower. I went outside to chat with him. He just got back from his winter in New Zealand (where it was summer, of course), and he’ll be here a month before heading north to Alaska. He’s like a migrating goose. But he’s a goose who mows our lawn and brings us salmon, so it’s always good to see him.

This garden update is pretty lame, I know. Trust me: There’ll be more to report for April. And May’s installment will be packed!

How’s the weather where you are? How does your garden grow?

You can read about my goals for this series in The year-long GRS project: How much does a garden really save?

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