Guest article by Theresa – Homegrown Market Garden

Isn’t it lovely seeing the early signs of spring as the weather warms and the days lengthen? While we had some very cold days in February it’s great to see signs of new growth emerging.

This month most of us are busy preparing vegetable beds (or pots and containers) in anticipation for the seed sowing and planting that will be starting soon. Except in the very coldest areas, you should now be able to plant hardy crops direct outside, although some may need protecting under cloches.

March is a great time to start preparing the garden ready for the early vegetables

We can also get much of our fruit sorted – now is the time to think about perennials and the value they give you in the form of fruit for years to come. For example rhubarb – planted once, with care we can harvest for ten years! That certainly saves a lot of food miles for a good while.

Rhubarb is a great perennial that will give you fruit for many years if looked after

This month we could be planting:  

  • Rhubarb sets
  • Fruit bushes
  • Lettuces
  • Pak Choi
  • Broad beans
  • Early peas
  • Horseradish
  • Strawberries
  • Early potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onion sets
  • Shallots

Of course not all of the above has to be sown from seed! Our website has a wide range of vegetable, fruit and herb plants that can be planted directly into your gardens this month. All plants are grown sustainably in Shropshire, planted in recycled materials and delivered directly to your door for growing on at home. All our plants come complete with growing guides showing you how to grow and harvest them – and if that’s not enough, we run a free veg gardening group offering additional support too! Homegrown Gardening Group

Checklist of Jobs for March

With planting underway there are several additional jobs to be getting on with this month: 

  • Continue to plan what you intend to grow this year, and where appropriate start planting those things you can!
  • Finish any construction work that you may have left to do as your time will be needed more for the plants in the coming months.
  • Now is the time to lift any remaining leeks and parsnips that have been left in the ground.
  • Continue to chit your potatoes in a frost free place to encourage strong shoots.
  • Warm areas of your soil with cardboard or reusable black plastic.
  • Check that any shallots in the ground are still firmly in place and not been pulled up by the birds.
  • Continue to save the cardboard tubes from toilet and kitchen rolls and newspapers to make your own biodegradable pots for seed sowing next month.
  • Harden off vegetables that were sown in January or February in the cold frame.
  • Make sure pots and seed trays are cleaned ready for reuse.
  • Prune fruit trees while still dormant such as apple, pear, currant and gooseberry.

And let’s not forget composting, with advice from Garden Organic:

  • Give your compost heap a ‘spring turn’ to aerate and stimulate the contents.
  • March is also a good month to empty out any ready compost. Store in bags ready for use around the garden where needed.
  • If you have a worm bin, it can be put outside at the end of the month.

I hope you find this useful. If you’re a keen home gardener or allotmenteer (or would like to be!) why not consider joining our growing community online. It’s free and all are welcome: Homegrown Gardening Group

Happy growing!

Theresa, Homegrown Market Garden