Friday, 7 March 2014

What to plant on your allotment in March.

What to plant on your allotment in March | Life and style |
Peas, cabbage and broad beans are all on our gardening expert's to-do list for March.

In the brassica bed early Brussels sprouts can go in under cloches towards the middle of the month to be planted out in May for autumn eating. Reliable earliest croppers are Peer Gynt and the newer Nelson.
Brussels sprouts - Noisette - sow through summer.
Turnips - Texel greens
Broad bean - Witkiem Manita came out as "best for spring sowing”, Witkiem Major.

Peas are traditionally sown on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. They need a minimum temperature of 7C (46F) to germinate.
- Kelveden Wonder or the vintage Early Onward.
- Darfon
- Oregon Sugar Pod. Sugar Snap.

In the roots bed, you can start off early carrots.

Hamburg parsley

Rather like true parsnips, which can also be sown now.

When you can provide a temperature of 10 – 15C (50 – 59F), globe onions, pickling onions Japanese bunching onions can be planted out.

Spinach beet is in the beetroot group so it can fit in anywhere there is space. The most colourful varieties are Bright Lights and Rhubarb chard while Fordhook Giant.

There is still time to plant out perennials - asparagus crowns, Jerusalem artichokes, seakale offsets and garlic. Get going with cut-and-come-again salad leaves and radishes.

Potatoes can go in towards the end of the month, though April is more traditional.
The standard way is to plant them a trowel deep and earth them up as they grow.
If you can lay your hands on some straw and grass mowing you can save your back and try the no dig system. You do this by growing them on top of the ground and covering them with a compost/manure mix followed later on with grass mowings. Some gardeners just grow them under black polythene. If you plan to follow this method wait a few weeks for the weather to warm up.
If on the other hand, you want to win the potato growing race that takes place in some allotments, there is a cunning way of getting ahead. It involves mounding soil into ridges, digging down in the troughs between to the depth of a trowel to plant the potatoes. These are covered with soil. Polythene, which will keep the temperature up, is put on top of the ridges and held in place with planks. When the potato shoots are bumping up against the polythene, slits are cut to let the shoots through. However, if the weather turns at this point, you will need to be ready to throw fleece over the potato tops.
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