A very exciting month for gardeners, as the kitchen garden wakes up from its winter slumber, signs of new life can be seen pushing through the soil. A month we find ourselves spending longer outside than indoors.
March job list
Spring a magical time for gardeners. Now is the last chance to start long season seeds like Aubergine, Peppers , Chillies. and Tomatoes (although a heated propagator will hasten the germination process). A propagator with a lid placed on warm brightly lit windowsill will do the trick too. Indoor varieties of Cucumbers should be sown in individual pots and seed trays with Celery and Celeriac varieties placed on heated mats to aid with germination.
Brassica Tip: If sowing or transplanting brassicas into a multi-purpose compost, add a little garden lime to the compost. Put a layer of compost in the potting tray and dust it with enough lime to whiten it. Brassicas like a high pH (low acidity) and lime increases the pH of the compost.
Now that the days are getting brighter, warmer and longer; use this opportunity to first wash and clean out the unheated greenhouse and coldframe before sowing any half hardy vegetable varieties. In seed trays start seeds like Spinach and Lettuce varieties. Brussels Sprouts and other brassica varieties as well as Beetroot can be multi sown in module trays, later seedlings can be thinned out. Another variety of seeds that can be started now are Peas and Mangetout. Although small pots and trays can be used, they perform much better in deep rooting cells called root trainers, creating healthy deep root system, later, producing sturdy plants.
Now is the last chance to start Onions from seeds, either scatter seeds in seed trays or multi sown in module trays.
Continue to harvest overwinter crops like spring cabbage, Kale and Leeks. Warmer conditions will trigger production of Purple Sprouting Broccoli too. Apply slow release organic fertiliser in Fish Blood and Bone to these overwinter crops and carefully fork in causing minimal root damage.
Now is the time to prep beds by working in well-rotted compost/manure if this was not performed during the autumn months. Warm the ground up well with cloches, horticultural fleece or even black plastic. Depending on your location first early variety of seed potatoes can be planted out.
Newly planted out Onion and shallot sets should be protected from bird pest until established.
Look for signs of pest emerging from hibernation. Strawberry plants grown in containers, should be removed and inspected, checking for vine weevil grubs that will eat away at the roots before emerging from the soil as adults.