mtp

10 Jobs for March

potting-shed.jpg

Here at mtp there has been a burst of energy under cover of the Potting Shed. Here’s 10 things we’ll be getting on with this month.

  1. Plant first early potatoes in mild areas where the soil is workable
  2. Spring prune fruit trees like Peaches and Nectarines
  3. Sow some Sweet Peas to grow alongside your Runner Beans
  4. Plant more onion sets and also some more shallots
  5. Spread some wood ash or high potash nutrient on raspberries and strawberries
  6. Plant a few Gladioli corms for some early cutting flowers
  7. Sow Lettuce, Parsley, Coriander, Basil, Red Cabbage, Cauliflower in the coldframe
  8. Sow some Tomatoes, Chilli Pepper, Aubergine and Bell Pepper in a heated propagator
  9. Sow Radish, NZ Spinach, early Carrots directly in the ground in milder areas
  10. Sow Peas in guttering at two-week intervals – place in coldframe or under fleece

If you have any more suggestions for March jobs, add em to the list.

18 Responses to “10 Jobs for March”

  1. michelleon 18 Mar 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve sown some aubergine seeds and also green globe artichokes – both have (just about) begun to sprout – bit early possibly, but I’m in the south of England and I have an unheated greenhouse.

  2. Clareon 19 Mar 2008 at 8:54 am

    Great section this, helps novices like me check what other’s are up to, and hopefully I’ll be less likely to miss something I’ll be kicking myself for in summer..y’know..’why didn’t I plant such-and-such in march’

    I’m trying very hard to extend my small veg patch this year so Easter break will be a dig marathon!

  3. Yvonne Boothon 19 Mar 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Hi,

    I have just joined you. I am an amature gardener and I have a very tiny garden and I have just bought a 3 tier kind of greenhousy type thing with plastic coverage. I am very eager to get going on growing veg and fruit, all suggestions very welcome. I have a few pots and 2 raised beds and thats it!!

    Yvonne

  4. Benon 20 Mar 2008 at 12:50 am

    I too have a small garden with a tiered mini greenhouse. The poly covers don’t last too well though, but I found you can get cheap replacements from wilkinsonplus.com

    I’ve made a small pond from a plastic container box – only about 2.5 by 1.5 ft but hopefully will encourage wildlife eventually.

    I’m also digging to extend my veg patch and using an old knackered greenhouse cover to warm the soil before sowing.

  5. mtpon 20 Mar 2008 at 9:29 am

    Sounds like everyone is raring to go! Brilliant.

    Although a word of warning – keep your eye on the weather. There’s little point in sowing or planting when cold weather is forecast (as in this weekend).

    I was planning to put my first early potatoes in this weekend but I’ve decided to hold off until the cold snap has passed. Otherwise they will just sit in the ground doing nothing – which is not good.

    The weather can be a cruel master sometimes!

  6. michelleon 20 Mar 2008 at 10:04 am

    I remember Easter last year; so warm I spent hours ‘swinging’ in my hammock.
    Got completely carried away, sowed squashes, courgettes, peppers ….. even planted a couple of small chilli plants outside.
    Then the weather got cold and wet and the whole lot died on me ….
    Take heed, wait a few weeks ….

  7. Natalieon 20 Mar 2008 at 10:06 am

    Hi I too am new to veg growing, I was wondering whether its worth starting my oeas of indoors, or waiting till I’m able to plant outside? I havent got a cold frame yet (making in process), I’d love to know what you think.

  8. Matronon 22 Mar 2008 at 8:40 am

    I’ve always wanted to grow New Zealand spinach in my plot. I saw my Sister grow it in California. Have you had success with it in the past? I might try it if you have?

  9. mtpon 22 Mar 2008 at 10:27 am

    Hi Natalie,

    Is the question – should you start off your Peas indoors or wait to plant outside?

    I haven’t had much luck with germination when I plant directly in the ground. Either the peas rot in the ground or the mice steal them. So if you don’t have a cold frame try sowing them in lengths of guttering and then tucking them up with a double layer of fleece. That way they have a better chance of germination and also when it comes to planting them out on the plot all you do is water them, then slide the whole thing out into a trench. Very easy!

  10. mtpon 22 Mar 2008 at 10:30 am

    Hi Matron,

    I’m planning to grow NZ Spinach again this year. If you’re in the UK you should really sow it now because if you wait any longer the plants have a very good chance of bolting. They are so susceptible to bolting that flowers can even appear before leaves! It’s very frustrating. However, if you treat them like a cold-weather crop ie March/April and Sept/Oct then you should be fine.

  11. Patientgardeneron 22 Mar 2008 at 11:44 am

    Whats NZ Spinach? How does it differ from normal spinach? So far I am growing Pak Choi this year – have a module tray full of seedlings and am now wondering what to do with them. Planning on growing some in a grow bag on the patio and risking the rest in the garden – last year the slugs got everything! Have sown some tomatoes and broad beans – the broad beans are germinated and I will harden them off before growing them in a pot.

    I have only had luck in the past with tomatoes and my enthusiasm for growing veg has taken a real knock with constant failures. I dont have room for a veg garden so try to grow veg with the flowers. This year I thought I would try and grow veg that cost alot in the shops and I can grow on the patio – so far the Pak Choi are doing well

  12. Natalieon 23 Mar 2008 at 10:44 am

    Thanks mtp is was meant to be peas… Will try that once my handyman has finished the cold frame.

  13. mtpon 23 Mar 2008 at 10:52 am

    Hi Patient,
    It’s tough when your veg keeps getting constantly munched by slugs or just generally fails. I must say that last year was particularly tough for vegetable gardeners – especially regarding the slugs as it was so wet.

    Pak Choi can be very difficult if you have a slug problem – they absolutely love it!
    NZ Spinach (which is the stuff you buy in the shops) is very susceptible to bolting (going to seed) and can be a difficult veg to grow too.
    You’ll find that the stuff that costs a lot in the shops is the most difficult to grow, simply because the farmers have to put the time in too and they charge you for it.

    Probably the easiest things to grow (which might build up your confidence) are garlic, onions and shallots which slugs generally leave alone. Herbs and potatoes (if you have the room) and lettuce, radish and spring onions.

  14. Matton 27 Mar 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve noticed several mentions of slug problems. There’s two solutions that I posted on MyFolia.com:

    1) Pour the contents of a bottle of cheap beer into a pie plate (or other shallow & wide container), and place under the plants that seem to be affected. The slugs are drawn to the beer, and drown in it. If you’ve got big slugs, make sure your container is deep enough for them to drown, and make sure to use enough beer to submerge at least one slug.

    2) Spray the soil and bottoms of plants with cold coffee.

    The first solution is time-tested by my Dad, while the second isn’t one I’ve seen or used myself, but I’ve read about it. I gather that most frogs & toads aren’t fans of caffeine, and neither are slugs.

  15. mtpon 29 Mar 2008 at 9:24 am

    Hi Matt,

    I haven’t tried the cold coffee method yet – will give it a go this summer since I have gotten rid of my 5 frogs. The beer cups work well in cutting down the numbers of slugs in your garden. I would recommend it. Just don’t wait too long to empty them otherwise they can get pretty grim :)

  16. marigoldon 31 Mar 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Don’t waste beer! The slugs and snails seem to like fast-acting yeast mixed with warm water and sugar.

  17. [...] planted my Cauliflowers today. I sowed them with the tomatoes back in March and now they are about 10cm high. Because we have a walled garden [...]

  18. Adamon 26 Mar 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Hello all, how nice to hear from people in the same boat, or garden as it were. I’ve just got a greenhouse and plan to leave all my seedlings out over the weekend with a parafin heater to keep it at around 6-7 deg – i’ve got tommies, sprouts, french beans, cabbage, calabrese and lettuce – anybody know if they’ll be alright at that temperature?