Spring is officially upon us, and if you’re green fingered you’ll be looking forward to spending more time outside in the garden. In fact, there’s lots of things you can be doing to prepare your garden for spring, but specifically you can be planting some veggies ready for their growing season. And if growing your own food is new to you, check out this article on how to start a vegetable garden.
You can be planting different types of vegetables all year round, but this month there are some you can get started indoors to transplant later, and there are some you can plant straight in the ground.
Here’s what you can start planting in March.
You can sow lettuce in module trays and put a sheet of glass over them to help them start. Make sure they get plenty of light but not for the whole day. Getting some shade too will prevent it from “bolting”. You can transplant from the trays into the garden at a later date, or you can start them straight in the garden under cloches.
Plant your spinach outside once you’ve added nutrient packed compost to the soil. Spinach prefers growing in cooler temperatures, so planting now will allow it plenty of time to grow and be harvested before any potential summer heatwaves.
You can plant kale between early spring and early summer, although it prefers to grow during cooler seasons. Make sure your soil is properly fertilised before you plant any seeds, and that it is light and free-draining. Once seedling start growing you’ll need to thin them out so they are about 3 inches apart.
Carrots should be sown directly into your garden soil and not started indoors. They like well draining soil that is free from stones, so make sure to break up the soil before planting.
Plant onions outside straight away. You can start with seeds, sets, or beginning plants - either option is fine to be planting as long as the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen. Planting now should result in summer crops.
These root vegetables have a long growing season, so make sure to plant them once soil becomes workable after frosts. Sow the seeds in your garden with good spacing between them, making sure to loosen and fertilise the soil first. Seedlings should appears in a couple of weeks.
Turnips can be planted at various times throughout the year depending on when you want to harvest them. For a late spring harvest, sow their seeds directly into the garden as soon as the ground is workable.
Broccoli is a cool season crop and is usually planted in late autumn for a winter harvest. However, if you act quickly you can still grow broccoli in spring and harvest before temperatures heat up for summer. Plant seeds in fertile, slightly acidic soil with a few inches of compost worked in.
Generally peppers prefer to grow in the heat, however you can start them indoors to transplant into your garden once the weather warms up. Plant seeds in module trays under glass to help them sprout and keep them warm until you can move them outside.
Start your tomato seeds indoors in March before moving them outside later when temperatures are warmer. They need well-drained soil and plenty of sun. Put them in a south facing window where they can get a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day. Growing tomatoes shouldn’t be too much of a challenge if they are kept warm with lots of light.
Cucumbers are susceptible to frost damage so start them off inside at the end of the month. They like to grow on top of heat, so put them on top of your fridge. Only move them outside once temperatures are comfortably in the teens.
There are two varieties for you to grow, vine and bush. Vines climb so will need to grow against a trellis once moved to the garden. Bushes are better suited to smaller spaces and container growing.
Specifically, you’ll want to start chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes now. If you chit your seed potatoes now they should be ready for planting around mid April, or in 6 weeks.
If you’re ahead of the game and already started earlier in the year, your potatoes should be ready to be planted in the ground at the end of the month.
Make sure that when you’re designing your garden and where your vegetables will be planted, that you keep in mind the different light requirements they will have. Having a bed in full sun and one that receives some shade will help cover all bases.
Don’t forget to protect your crops from pests. Although attracting wildlife to your garden has its benefits, you’ll also need to be prepared to ward off slugs and rabbits.comments powered by Disqus
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