What’s Growing On In March?

I’m a bit late with this post but better late than never! What’s growing on in our kitchen garden this month?

Timperley Early rhubarb never fails to produce as early as March, feeding us well into summer. Right now our patch of rhubarb is looking fantastic with big healthy leaves and green stems flushed with red.

The plum trees are beginning to blossom, tight buds of green with a smidge of white peeking through, with apple and pear trees a few weeks behind. Of all the fruit blossom pink apple flowers are my favourite.

This year we’re growing ‘Wizard’ field beans, a smaller more robust relative of broad beans. We didn’t have the seed in time to sow in autumn, we sowed the seeds in February and they’re growing well under the tunnel cloches. They will catch up.

New raspberry cane growth basking in the sun, it appears we’re in for a bumper crop this year!

First sowing of peas are carried out undercover in the greenhouse to prevent rotting and mice theft. Four varieties this year, heirloom and rare types: Champion of England, Rosakrone, Golden Sweet (mangetout type with purple flowers and lemon yellow pods) and Lord Leicester. These will be planted out soon after hardening off and covered over in fleece should a frost arrive. Also growing happily in the greenhouse are seedlings of nasturtium, cosmos, beetroot and calendula (to be planted out in clumps).

The garlic looks very different to the February What’s Growing on post, variety Red Duke’. It appears to grow low and stumpy to start with but soon puts on lots of top growth as the weather warms, growing to quite a height before harvest.

Some of my favourite herbs growing strong, bronze fennel and French tarragon.

Gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes are bursting into leaf, shining beautifully in the sunlight.

I planted our second early potatoes today, ‘Charlotte’ remains a firm favourite!We’re growing ‘Pink Fir Apple’ this year too, these will go out in the next week or so.

Jobs for March

March is an exciting and busy time for the vegetable gardener. Seed sowing can really begin now but always keep an eye on weather conditions and try to plan ahead, far better to follow the weather than the calendar.

Jobs that can be tackled this month, depending on weather conditions:

  • Sow early peas in guttering, modules or direct if the soil is warm enough
  • Sow chillies and tomatoes, keeping the trays on a warm sunny windowsill indoors
  • Plant early potatoes
  • Sow sweetcorn into individual pots towards the middle of the month, put them in a greenhouse or place on a sunny windowsill and keep the pots warm
  • Sow sweet peas (for their lovely flowers and perfume)
  • Plant raspberry canes
  • Sow brassicas under cover
  • Beetroot can be started early in modules inside the greenhouse, plant seedlings out once conditions are right
  • Plant asparagus crowns
  • Sow lettuce and radish in a cold frame or under cloches
  • Carrots and turnips can be sown outdoors under cloches
  • Plant strawberries

Depending on the weather, some of these jobs may not be possible to carry out, but can be tackled another time once conditions are right.