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Wednesday 8 March 2023

The Vegetable Plot – March

Sow here to a bumper crop

The size of your vegetable plot need not restrict the quantity you grow. Old cottage gardeners grew veg between their prize flowers and many people still do today. Containers, hanging baskets, even old guttering are other ways to go. 

March is the month you can start so many vegetable sowings as long as we don’t get freakish weather and more ‘Beasts from the East.’ Even then, you can sow under glass until it’s safe to venture outside again. Asparagus, cucumbers, dwarf French beans, leeks, lettuces, marrows, melons, onions, parsley, peas, rhubarb, seakale and tomatoes are all easy to sow and grow under glass. 

Once you’re outside again, you could be starting asparagus beds and if you have light, sandy soil, it should be warm enough to grow veg under cloches and plant out shallots and garlic. Heavy soils need a while longer to warm up. 

Now to the rest of your list, does it look like this? Broad beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflowers, dwarf French beans, kale, kohlrabi, lettuces, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, radishes, seakale, shallots, spinach, Swedes, tomatoes and turnips. It’s up to you and your taste in vegetables, but remember the ground rules and plan your plot for rotation of your crops to keep your soil in shape. Succession sowings of cabbages and cauliflowers will keep you growing to the end of the year. And what you don’t use you can freeze, such as spinach, Swiss chard and beans for the winter.

  • Chit seed potatoes if you haven’t already done so
  • Plant out early potatoes in trenches with manure in the bottom
  • Start globe artichokes, sweet corn and courgettes
  • Force rhubarb using buckets or pots to encourage long, tender stalks
  • Sow peas and more in the greenhouse in old cleaned guttering with holes drilled for drainage
  • Gutter gardening is fun with strawberries, radishes, basil, rosemary, mint and greens (lettuce, spinach, and salad)

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