Spring is starting and the new season is here
Hopefully by now we are now standing on the threshold of Spring and the new gardening season. The days are beginning to lengthen and although it may not feel like it at times the temperatures are slowly increasing day by day. More importantly the longer days are the real trigger to new growth and you will find that with the help of a little protection you can really go for those early sowings
Fruit jobs in March
Fruit & Nut Trees
- Protect almond, peach, apricot and nectarine blossom from frost, but make sure insects can access the flowers for pollination.
- Untie festooned fruit tree branches that have set into position.
- Prune citrus trees.
- Harvest citrus fruit when ready.
- This is your last chance to winter prune apples, pears, medlars and quinces.
- Cover outdoor, soil-grown strawberries with cloches for an earlier crop.
- This is your last chance to prune established autumn-fruiting raspberries.
- Prune back newly planted raspberries back to 30cm (12in) if not done already.
- Tip back summer-fruiting raspberry canes to 15cm (6in) above their top support wire.
- This is your last chance to winter prune red/white currants and gooseberries.
- Clear the old leaves off strawberry plants and clean up the ground in between the plants before giving them a top dressing of a general fertiliser.
- Take delivery of and plant fruit trees, bushes, canes and vines if the soil isn’t frozen.
- Top dress all of the fruit trees and soft fruit bushes with a general fertiliser at the recommended application rate. At the same time top dress the rest of the plot with a general fertiliser as land becomes available.
- Keep some fleece handy to protect the developing strawberry flowers from frost. Any frost damaged flowers are easily identified as they display a tell-tale “black eye” at the centre of the dead flower.
Vegetable jobs in March
Sowing and Planting
- Plant out early cultivars of potatoes as soon as possible and follow on planting out at regular intervals with the secondearlies and first maincrops until the end of the month. A little bit of forward planning, don’t be tempted to plant out more potatoes than you can protect from any frosty weather further down the line.
- Plant onions, shallots and garlic sets.
- Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
- Plant asparagus crowns.
- Sow seed outdoors in mild areas with light soil, eg: broad beans, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, onions, lettuces, radish, peas, spinach, summer cabbage, salad leaves, leeks, Swiss chard, kohl rabi, turnip and summer cauliflower. Be guided by the weather, and sow only if conditions are suitable.
- Sow seed indoors of sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, celery, salads and globe artichokes
- Cultivate and prepare seedbeds, covering them with clear polythene, cloches or fleece to warm up the soil before sowing.
- Plan a crop rotation system for your vegetable plot.
- Rake in lime if you have acid soil.
- Prepare new asparagus beds.
- Feed spring cabbages with high nitrogen feeds.
- Dig over new beds, but try to avoid digging in wet weather.
Jobs in March
Shed Repairs & Maintenance
- Check guttering if fitted.
- Check water butts etc.
- March can be a windy month so worth checking roofing felt etc.
- Keep checking frequently on the condition of any produce in store it will begin to wake up after its winter dormancy and start to regrow...
Ready for Harvest in March
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Spring onion
- Winter salads
- Spring cauliflower & cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
- Sprouting broccoli
Seeds to Sow and things to Plant Out in March
Sowing indoors and under glass
- Sow Aubergines, chillies and peppers indoors this month.
- Sow Broccoli, Cabbages and other Brassicas indoors this month.
- Brussels Sprouts.
- Oriental Leaves.
- Radishes (summer).
- Summer purslane.
- Florence fennel
- Shallots and Garlic
- Middle of the month sow tomato and cucumber seed for greenhouse growing.
- Peas can be sown in the greenhouse in old (but clean) guttering that has had drainage holes drilled in the bottom.
- Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
- Plant out first early potatoes, shallots and garlic by the end out the month.
- Bare-root fruit tress and bushes should be planted by now.
- Plant Asparagus crows this month.