What to plant in March

20170224_123640Christmas is so last year. It’s officially spring! Well maybe not officially, but in gardening terms at least, which is obviously way more important.

I find myself getting stupidly excited at this time of year, lying awake thinking about new seeds to try, crop rotation plans, and wondering if I can squeeze in a few extra plants here or there.

It’s also that time of year when no yoghurt pot makes it as far as the recycling bin, and I base most of my food 20170301_084327shopping purchases around whether or not the packaging will make a good propagator.  No point splashing out on gardening equipment when a plastic muffin carton will do just as well – and you get to eat the contents first.

This year, I am even more stupidly excited because after years of trying to make do with sheets of bubble wrap and an old shower screen (there’s only so far you can go with recycling) I finally have a proper polytunnel. Thank you Santa (aka Unhusband) – although he hasn’t quite got round to putting it up yet.* Slacker.

So,  what can you plant in March – given there’s still a chance of hail / snow / sleet / hurricanes? Well hopefully not the last one, but it’s not exactly T-shirt weather.

Here is a list of seeds you can start in March:

INDOORS

Tomatoes – if they’re destined for a greenhouse or polytunnel, start them off at the beginning of March (if you didn’t do so in February) if not wait until mid to late March or they’ll get too big before it’s warm enough to take them outside.

Peppers – these have a long growing season, so need to be started in early spring (late February / early March.) Again, they’ll do best in a greenhouse eventually, or at least on a very sunny patio.

Aubergines – probably not be worth trying unless you have a greenhouse or polytunnel. If you do, start now.

Melons – I’ve tried to grow melons for years and never achieved anything bigger than an olive.  Warning: don’t trust those packets that say suitable for outdoor growing. That’s basically bollocks (although if anyone’s managed it, well done!) The only reason I’m trying melons this year is because I have a polytunnel, so they’d better work. Did I mention it still needs putting up?

Cucumbers – this is one crop where the outdoor varieties do seem to work, just make sure you choose the right one.

NB: if you run out of window sill space, cars also make great greenhouses, if you don’t mind looking like a prat. I don’t.

OUTDOORS

It’s still a bit early for sowing many crops outside, and it’s generally better to wait until April when you don’t need to bother sowing under cover or warming up the soil,  but here are a few that should be ok.

Parsnips – Mick at my old allotment always planted these on his birthday in February (I can’t remember the date now) but they were always amazing, as was everything else he grew.

Carrots – again, it’s a bit on the early side, but I’m impatient so am planting Nantes 2, an early variety, and will make later sowings over the next few weeks.

Lettuces – look for  cold tolerant varieties.

Onions – sow onions from ‘sets’ in March / April.

Garlic – If you didn’t manage to plant garlic in the autumn (I didn’t) you can do it now.

Potatoes – if you’ve chitted some early ones and the ground isn’t freezing, these can go in now.  Unfortunately a mouse has eaten most of mine.

Peas – start some now, and sow new batches every few weeks.

Celery – I’m growing this for the first time this year, a self-blanching variety, which is less work.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but hopefully is enough to be getting on with for now.

*Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that only men are capable of erecting polytunnels. I am sure loads of females could do it just as well. It’s just that I’m not one of them. DIY is not my forte, as I discovered the time I tried to use toothpaste for polyfiller.

About Becky Dickinson

Mum of three. Writer, blogger, grower. Trying to keep my head above the compost heap.

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Comments

  1. KAREN SKEGGS says:

    Hi Becky have just read about you in Country Homes and Interiors magazine. I am about to get an allotment from 1st April and am so excited. I too am a working mum of 3 so I think I will looking on your blog frequently for guidance. I have been lucky enough to be able to buy the greenhouse that is on the plot and I’ve just got my hands on some second hand tools for £10 so April can’t come soon enough so glad I found you. Love the blog and the recipes too. Karen x

    • Hi Karen, thanks for your lovely comment and congratualtions on your allotment. I’m sure you’ll love it! And April is the perfect time to get one. I don’t think I’m in Country Homes magazine – perhaps it’s someone with the same name? But I will check!! Is it the current issue? Happy growing (: x

  2. I went over this website and I conceive you have a lot of excellent information, saved to fav (:.

  3. Outdoors – I’m also going to get some Broad Bean and Turnip seeds sown next weekend.

  4. Allie Corderoy says:

    Hi Becky, i just read about you in Country Homes and Interiors mag April 2017 issue page 125. Loved your blog, inspiration for my garden, thank you!!

    • Hi Allie, thank you for looking up the blog. I had no idea I was in Country Homes and Interiors mag, so will go and check it out tomorrow! Thank you and happy gardening.

  5. I really liked your post. We find that a lot of people don’t know when to plant. With a greenhouse you can do it almost anytime!

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