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Friday 9 March 2018

The Vegetable Plot - March

"There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic" -  Louis Diat

Well, as soon as we can get into the vegetable garden it’s time to put in the onion, shallot and garlic sets, along with seed potatoes. If you’re in a mild area you could be sowing peas, broad beans, parsnips and carrots, along with Jerusalem artichoke tubers, asparagus crowns and globe artichokes. Now if that sounds like meals for kings, if you have the space it’s really take your pick month for the number of vegetables you can grow from seed in March if the weather (at last) becomes suitable.

If you have light soil try beetroot, lettuces, radishes, spinach, peas, summer cabbage and more, see the lists below. Broccoli has a high vitamin content and anti-cancer agents so that is another east and fast-growing crop you can harvest in summer and autumn; or there’s the sprouting type, white or purple that are overwintered and harvested in the spring.

Protect your brassicas from the pigeons and watch out for brassica downy mildew and grey mould. Keep an eye open for slug damage and use organic slug pellets where appropriate. Stored vegetables can also be a feast for mice so keep your veg protected from small rodents.

  • Sow broccoli in a greenhouse in March or outside in April
  • Sow salad leaves, Swiss chard, leeks, turnip, kohl robi and summer cauliflower
  • Indoors sow tomatoes, aubergines, sweet peppers, cucumber, celery and salads  
  • Keep weeding – don’t let them get control
  • Feed fruit trees, canes and bushes with sulphate of potash
  • Spray apple and other fruit trees to deal with insects and fungal disease
  • Sow summer spinach in successional sowings for a plentiful supply
  • Use heated frames for sowing vegetables if the weather has remained too cold

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