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 in March.
Flowers to plant in March
Bedding plant & hardy annual seeds
If you have a greenhouse (even a miniature one), you can get started on sowing seeds for summer bedding plants and hardy annuals. You need to protect them from frost so you can’t sow them outside yet, but getting them going under cover now will give them a head start.
Growing *wildflowers is a super-easy way to make your garden wildlife-friendly. Choose a packet of mixed seed for a lovely natural planting effect. Wildflowers are also fast-growing, low-maintenance, and a great way to suppress weeds – what are you waiting for?!
Sowing wildflower seeds is an ideal gardening activity for children to help out with. It’s not a tricky job, and it offers a natural link to learning about the importance of garden wildlife. Check out my guide to sowing wildflowers for step-by-step instructions.
Bare-root roses are usually planted during the dormant season, so this is your last chance to get them in the ground before spring wakes them up. *Bare-root roses are usually less expensive than pot-grown roses, and will establish quickly if you plant them now. There’s a good guide to planting them here.
Fruit & Vegetables to plant in March
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. Transfer 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 such as *Chantenay, 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.
Early potato varieties
Early cropping varieties of potatoes can be planted out from the end of March. If you want an early crop of new potatoes, now is the time to buy seed potatoes and start ‘chitting’ them (leaving them in a cool place to start sprouting), ready for planting in a few weeks. Check out my step-by-step guide to growing potatoes in bags for more details on how to do this.
If you’re growing tomatoes from seed, you can plant them under cover this month. They need heat to germinate; if you don’t have access to a greenhouse, a sunny windowsill indoors is fine. We always grow *Gardener’s Delight because it’s so reliable and produces lots of tasty cherry-sized fruits, but there are so many varieties to choose from – including some weird and wonderful colours and shapes!
Home-grown *strawberries taste amazing, and they’re not fussy plants to grow. Plant them in March for an early summer harvest. If space is tight they look great growing in containers and hanging baskets, this is also an easy way to protect the fruits from damp ground, slugs and snails.
Bulbs to plant in March
Summer flowering bulbs
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, *Gladioli, *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!
Forced indoor bulbs
If you’ve enjoyed flower bulbs indoors over winter, it’s time to plant them out in the garden. The foliage should have died back by now, so remove any dead leaves and pop them into a border or container – my post on how to plant bulbs explains how to do this. Hopefully they will bloom again for you next spring.
What’s on your planting list for March? I’d love to hear what you’re up to in the garden 🙂