UK-dwellers will have noticed a slight upswing in the warmer weather over the past few days. It’s time to get planting those hardier varieties that will be able to stand a little further cold and wet weather. Several of the root vegetable seed varieties are best to plant in March, so it’s a good time to get started if you’ve resolved to grow your own this year.
March and April are the prime times to sow broad beans. Simply sow in a shallow dip with around 20cm in between each seed. Give them plenty of water, and support the plants with bean poles as they grow.
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, March is a good time to start a raise asparagus bed. Freshly-picked asparagus makes for unbeatable eating, so it’s worth the extra effort. The most common way is to buy the germinated asparagus crowns from a garden centre or online. There’s a full guide to nurturing and finally harvesting the plants here.
March is the time to seed spinach in small pots to be kept inside or in the greenhouse. If you use peat pots, you can easily pop them into an outdoor bed when warmer weather is established, likely in late April or early May. As a cut and come again plant, you can pick spinach leaves throughout the summer to add to salads.
March is also the perfect time to bed in some of the hardier flowering plants, and roses are the perfect example, providing instant visual beauty. Bare-root and containerised roses are best planted in March. Give them a once-yearly fertilize, and prune in late autumn for long-lasting, beautiful flowering rose bushes.
Sweet pea seeds sown in March will flower in June and July. Known as an easy to grow plant that rewards with gorgeously fragrant pastel-coloured flowers, you can cultivate strong plants using a little organic fertiliser. Picking these flowers will encourage even more to grow and prolong the flowering season.
If you loathe broccoli, you might just be converted by the fresh flavour of the homegrown variety. If you love it, then you’ll love this vegetable even more if you’ve grown it yourself. Easy to cultivate, just sow the seeds in March, keep well-watered and harvest in 2-3 months. Purple sprouting broccoli is a lovely variety which looks a bit more decorative and is almost like asparagus when served gently steamed.