A Monthly Guide to Vegetable Gardening - March

Articles by Gardening Expert John Harrison

Although it may not be ideal for our pampered vegetables, the weeds will certainly be springing up. If conditions permit get the hoe moving and keep it moving to kill them young.

Your cloches can be moved on from those February planted crops when they are established but you're likely to be short of crop cover so use horticultural fleece laid a week or more before sowing or planting if the temperatures are low to warm the soil.

Even if you sowed broad beans and peas in February there is nothing to stop you successionally sowing another batch to be ready later than the first.

Directly sow the following, under cloche if the weather is bad. Don't forget setting up the cloche a few days to a week beforehand will warm the soil and if it is wet allow it to dry and be more workable.

Direct Sowing

* Beetroot (small fast varieties for eating in June rather than larger storing varieties)
* Kohlrabi
* Parsnips
* Carrots
* Radish
* Spinach Beet (Beet leaf)
* Early Turnips
* Cut and Come Again Lettuce and Salad Leaves
* Spring Onions
* Onion Sets
* Shallots

In modules start off:

* Lettuce
* Sprouts (Early varieties to be ready for September)
* Summer Cabbages
* Celery
* Early Cauliflowers
* Onions from seed (keep around 10 -12 degrees, do not let them go above 15 degrees)
* Celeriac (celeriac needs a long season so best started at the beginning of the month)

In a heated propagator if you have one or inside the house in a windowsill you can start off your tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and greenhouse cucumbers. This needn't take much room since you can start them in shallow 7.5cm pots and move them on to individual pots or modules when they are big enough to handle. Electric propagators can be bought quite cheaply and unheated propagators designed to fit in a windowsill are a satisfactory solution.

Any leeks you have left in the ground should come up now. Parsnips too should come out of the ground in early March before they try and re-grow. You can store them for a few weeks in damp sand but they know the season and will not hold for long.

Copyright © John Harrison

About the Author

John Harrison is the author of Vegetable Growing, Month by Month and The Essential Allotment Guide amongst others. His home is in Cheshire from where he runs the Allotment Vegetable Growing web site and grows his own fruit and vegetables on his two allotments around the corner.

March can also be unpredictable


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