March in the veg plot – Allotment Gardening

March in the veg plot

This month has to be the most difficult of the vegetable growing season, yet one of the most enjoyable. Trying to time seed sowing, so the plants are ready when the worst of the frost has gone is an art form its self. I try and combat this by sowing quite small quantities of seeds at reglar intervals, then if the weather totally misbehaves, I don’t have a huge number of plants that are ready to be planted out, but need protection because the weather is not suitable.

Greenhouse
Most seeds can be sown by the middle of this month, remembering that they will need hardening off before planting out.
Tomatoes, Peppers and aubergines will need a little heat to get going, or can be sown at the end of the month.

Early and summer cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Calabrese, Celery, Leeks, main crop Onions and Lettuce. All can be sown in small trays and covered with a propagator lid, once they germinate they are pricked out into 15 or 24 cell seed tray inserts. These are the grown on in a cold frame until the conditions are right for them to be planted out.

Vegetables
Nearly all seeds sown in the ground are going to need some protection at this stage of the growing season.

Sow:

  • Second early Peas and main crop Broad beans.
  • Early Carrots, Beetroot, Turnips and Parsnips.
  • Salad crops such as Lettuce, Spring Onions Radish and Rocket at the end of the month.

Plant:

  • Onion sets, Garlic and Shallots.
  • Early, second early and main crop potatoes that were chitted in the last two months.

Fruit
March is probably the latest month to do the winter pruning of soft fruit, before the plants come into full growth.

Keep on top of weeds around the plants, give a dressing of Potash to help fruiting and mulch with well rotted manure after prolonged rain.

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