The arrival of March really is the start of the growing season in my mind – even if the weather isn’t in agreement and it’s still freezing outside!
If you’re raring to go in the garden or allotment, here are some ideas for what to plant this month.
I’ve always planted my peas direct into their growing site later in the spring, but this year I’m going to get them started earlier. This month you can sow peas (and broad beans if you haven’t already got them in) outdoors or in a cold frame if you have one, transferring them to their final growing spot when they’ve grown large enough to handle. Sowing them into a length of plastic guttering filled with compost makes it much easier to plant them out; you just hoe a shallow row where you want to plant them and slide the whole row of seedlings into it in one go. Easy!
Traditionally carrots aren’t planted until around April, but if you’d like an early crop in June you can have a go at planting them in late March. If your soil is a bit stony then go for shorter varieties, otherwise you’ll probably end up with split roots and good candidates for ‘amusing veg’ competitions. If you’re short on space you can grow carrots in containers too.
I tend to think of bulbs as very much a ‘spring thing’, but summer flowering bulbs are a great way to add colour to your borders and reduce the amount of bedding plants needed to fill any gaps. Ranunculus, Gladiolus, Agapanthus, Lilies, Alliums and Crocosmia are all great options. Remember to make a note of where you plant them though, to avoid accidentally digging them up later!
Early cropping varieties of potatoes can be planted out at the end of March – so if you want an early crop of new potatoes now is the time to buy sets and start ‘chitting’ them (leaving them in a cool place to start sprouting), ready for planting in a few weeks.
Bedding plant seeds
If you have a greenhouse (even a miniature one) you can get started on sowing seeds for Summer bedding plants. You need to protect them from frost so you can’t sow them outside yet, but getting them started under cover now will give them a head start. This month I’ll be sowing violas, antirrhinums (snapdragons) and cosmos; there are loads more to choose from and garden centres will have a full range.
Are any of these on your planting list for March? I’d love to hear what you’re up to.