If you’re raring to go in the garden or allotment, here are some ideas for what to plant in March.
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! You do still need to be careful temperature-wise, but if you can provide some frost protection there are lots of plants you can start growing this month.
Flowers to plant in March
Bedding plant & hardy annual seeds
If you have a greenhouse (even a miniature one), you can start sowing summer bedding plant and hardy annual seeds. You need to protect them from frost, so you can’t sow them outside yet. Getting them going under cover now is a good way to 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 their dormant season. March 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 usually plant my peas direct into their growing site later in spring, but you can start them off in March if you like.
Sow *peas (and *broad beans if you haven’t already got them in) outdoors, or in a cold frame if you have one. When the plants have grown large enough to handle, you can transfer them to their final growing spot. Sowing them into a length of plastic guttering filled with compost makes it much easier to plant them out. All you do is dig your shallow row, then 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 – here’s a quick video guide:
*Leeks take a long time to grow, so planting them this month is a good idea. You can sow the seeds in pots in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame in March. Doing it this way also makes it easier to separate the seedlings when you plant them out.
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, light 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 your soil isn’t frozen and the weather isn’t really wet and cold, you can plant onions directly into the ground this month.
The easiest way to grow *onions and shallots are from ‘sets’. You plant a ‘set’ onion in the ground and it grows into a bigger onion, which you then harvest. Shallot sets are planted the same way, but each one grows a cluster of shallots (a bit like garlic). They are a great vegetable for children to plant, as you just push them into the earth until only the tip is showing. Your harvest will be ready towards the end of summer.
Chilli plants are quite slow-growing in my experience, so I always try to get the seeds planted as early as possible. They need heat in order to germinate, so at this time of year you will need to put your pots or trays in a greenhouse, or indoors on a sunny windowsill.
Our favourite chilli variety to grow is *Apache, which is a small plant that produces loads of chillies with a real kick. We always dry some of the crop, and they freeze pretty well too.
If you’re growing tomatoes from seed, you can plant them under cover this month. Like chillies, 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 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 🙂
More gardening inspiration
If you’d like to get cracking with some garden maintenance this month, check out my post on garden jobs for March. And if you need some inspiration, my gardening quotes and sayings will definitely help!