March - an overview
Any soil that has not been dug over in the winter months needs
to be finished off as early as possible, as much of your time
will be occupied with sowing and planting as the month progresses.
This is a good time to get the soil ready for planting and sowing,
fork out any perennial weeds removing all the root system to prevent
re-growth, hoe any annual weed seed that has germinated. Rake
ground over to a fine tilthe
It is worth planning where vegetables are going and to rotate
from the previous season. To do this effectively you need four
areas:1) Brassicas 2) Potato 3) Legumes (peas and beans) 4) Others
(onions courgettes, sweet corn etc). Crop rotation is very important;
to plant vegetables in the same area year after year will build
up pests and disease.
the soil is not too wet, towards the middle of the month onwards
you can plant out onion setts. The first couple of weeks after
planting out, birds can be a problem pulling the setts out, make
sure you check over the rows and put the pulled setts back in
the soil. To avoid this happening you can either put sticks amongst
the onions or net the crop to deter the birds.
the end of the month is a good time to plant seed potato, dig
the trenches and line with manure first.
If you intend growing carrot, make sure the soil is dug well and
no stones in the soil which can cause the vegetable to divide.
It is worth adding sand to any heavy clay to help with this. If
you have had problem with carrot fly, consider making a low barrier
from clear plastic about a foot off the ground surrounding where
the carrots are to grow. Crops such as courgette, marrow, pumpkin;
you can dig out a spade of soil and add some manure and replace
the soil so you have a mound. It's a good idea to put in a short
length of pipe such as old plastic downpipe, about 6" - 1ft
long, place some grit in the bottom of the soil, put pipe in and
cover with remaining soil. If you get a dry spell then you can
pour water down the tube which will go straight to the root system
of the plant.
plants that were sown indoors in February such as Broad Beans,
can be planted out in mid March. It is recommended to put under
a cloche or fleece to protect them from harsh weather. Peas, broad
bean, turnip, beetroot can be sown if the ground at the end of
the month if it is not too cold or wet.
summer cabbage and cauliflower indoors for planting out in mid
to late April. Sow indoor winter plants such as sprout, kale,
cabbage, leek, and keep inside ready for planting out in June/July,
when space is available. They are a valuable winter crop as they
will stand in the ground until the following spring when warmer
weather causes them to bolt. If you don't have a greenhouse you
can put the seedlings on a window cill. To prevent the seedlings
becoming "leggy" you can add a sheet of aluminum kitchen
foil to the back of the seed tray which will reflect light back.
If the weather is warm and there are any annual seeds germinating,
means you may be able to sow seeds such as lettuce, in the ground,
otherwise it is worth sowing indoors to plant out in April.
Perennial plants such as asparagus and globe artichoke, look out
for early shoots sprouting from their winter dormancy. Rhubarb
crowns check to see if there are any young shoots ready.
If you have any advice or tips about gardening relating
to this month contact us and if suitable will add to the page
- please local to Haworth and the surrounding area only.