Fruit & vegetable growing guide for March
18th March 2022
March has arrived and with this the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are slowly increasing, making it the perfect time to start sowing the seeds for this year’s crops. March is considered the start of the growing season and there are lots of fruits and vegetables you can plant within the month.
Although the weather is milder in March, it can still experience some cold snaps and wet weather so you will need to check the weather report before you start sowing seeds. If you suffer from mobility problems and need to use aids such as a stairlift or other walking aids, it might be worth you asking a relative or friend to help you plant your fruit and veg as it can involve a lot of bending down and a bit of digging.
This guide looks at the vegetables to plant in March in the UK and the fruit you can also plant as well as the other jobs you can consider doing throughout the month.
Vegetables to plant in March in the UK
As March marks the start of the growing season, there are plenty of vegetables to plant outdoors in the UK. Read on to find out which vegetables you can start planting.
Onions and shallots
You can plant out your onions and shallots straight outdoors and these don’t need much attention, although if you cloche them it will help them to establish and will also stop pigeons and other birds from pulling them up.
Charles Dowding, who runs his own gardening site, spoke about how to be extra safe you can plant onions and shallots as well as lots of other vegetables undercover.
He said: “Undercover you can sow tomatoes, onions, lettuce, celery, celeriac, cabbage, calabrese, cauliflower, spinach, peas, broad beans, beetroot multisown, but it's still too early for cucumbers and courgettes.
“Transplanting any of the above is usually about four weeks after you sow them in modules. Outside you can sow direct carrots, parsnips, broad beans, peas, lettuce, spinach.
“Raising plants under cover can seem like extra work but it's a guarantee of success, compared to sowing direct in many cases. I do recommend the use of fleece covers to help plants establish, by mitigating effects of the weather and also preventing pest damage to seedlings.”
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for February
When you are sowing carrots there are two types you can choose from, and these are early varieties and late varieties. The early varieties are the ones you will need to plant in March, and they will be ready to pick in about 10 weeks.
Catherine, who is the writer behind the home and gardening blog Growing Family, spoke about why carrots are a great vegetable to plant in the UK in March.
“Traditionally carrots aren’t planted until around April, but if you’d like an early crop in June, you can have a go at planting them in late March. If your soil is a bit stony then go for shorter varieties such as Chantenay, otherwise, you’ll probably end up with split roots and good candidates for ‘amusing veg’ competitions.”
Carrots grow better when planted in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil, so before you plant them it is worth forking and breaking up any lumps in the soil and adding well-rotted organic matter. When sowing the carrots directly into the ground, you need to make a shallow trench that is about 1cm deep, and the seeds will need to spread around 5-8cm apart before covering them with soil and watering well.
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January
Broad beans are a hardy crop, and they can be sown during the winter months, but from March onwards they can be sown directly into the ground.
Gardening retailer Sarah Raven has spoken about why planting broad beans is a great job to do in the garden in March: “One of the ideal jobs for March when it’s still cold, is sowing broad beans, and that’s because broad beans are really truly hardy annuals, they love getting their roots down when it’s cold and wet. You can even sow them at the end of the year in September or October to overwinter and come into harvest two weeks ahead of your spring-sown crop.”
You can prepare the ground before sowing broad beans by forking in some garden compost and a common method for planting them is to sow the seeds in a row as you can support them with canes and string.
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for December
Parsnips are a popular vegetable to grow in the UK as they can be used in a variety of dishes, from a roast dinner to stews and casseroles.
Parsnips are a vegetable that is easy to grow as they need very little maintenance and can be left in the ground until you are ready to eat them. March and April are generally considered the best months to sow them and when you decide to plant them you should choose an area of the garden that is sunny and boasts light soil.
Some popular varieties of parsnip that you can plant in March include Albion, Gladiator, Pearl, Picador and Viper.
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for November
If you have been chitting potatoes, then in mid-March you can start planting out these potatoes, but if you live in colder regions of the UK you might need to wait until later in the month to plant them in your garden.
When planting potatoes into the ground, you need to pick a site that gets a good amount of sun as areas of the garden that are in the shade could be prone to late frosts and this can affect the emerging foliage.
Quickcrop, the garden experts, spoke about a planting method they have used for potatoes in recent years: “My recent method for planting potatoes is to plant them relatively shallow and to mulch with layers of compost. It was Charles Dowding who recommended this as it makes them much easier to harvest and reduces the number of rogue (volunteer) potatoes that come up the following year (because they are much easier to find).
“I grew my spuds like this last year and while I thought the yield was a little lower, I will be doing the same again. The potatoes look fabulous as they grow so easily in the soft compost, they are smooth-skinned and uniform with very little scab. If you have a problem with eelworm in your garden mulch grown potatoes will also fare much better than those buried deeper in the ground.”
All the vegetables you can plant in March
- Onions and shallots
- Broad beans
- Summer cabbage
- Salad leaves
- Swiss chard
- Summer cauliflower
- Brussel Sprouts
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for October
Fruit to plant in March in the UK
The fruits you can plant in March vary from apple trees and pear trees to strawberries. Read on to find out more about the fruit to plant in March.
Bare-rooted trees, bushes, canes and vines
In March you still have time to plant bare-rooted fruit trees and bushes such as raspberries and other cane fruits. If it is icy or snowy or the ground is waterlogged, then you won’t be able to plant the trees and bushes and should take care of them for a few days until conditions improve so you can put them into the ground.
If you suffer from a mobility impairment meaning you have to use a disabled bathroom or a walking aid, it might be best to ask a friend or relative to help you dig the planting holes as generally the shrubs need a hole of around 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide and fruit trees need a hole of 3 feet by 3 feet. You can plant the bare-rooted trees, bushes, canes and vines in rows.
This incredibly tasty fruit is easy to grow and by planting lots of varieties you can harvest them from early summer all the way through to autumn. Strawberries also take up little space and can be grown in pots, hanging baskets or can be planted into the ground of your garden.
Sarah Carter, who is the founder of the garden site Lets Grow Cook, talks about growing strawberries in the UK: “There are more than 600 varieties of strawberries, they’re usually organized by when they are ready to harvest. You’ll plant strawberries two times during the year if you’re growing strawberries traditionally; March & April and then again in September & October.
“We recommend growing several varieties and planting in succession, which will give you a nice steady harvest from sometime in May until the Autumn.”
All the fruits you can plant in March
- Bare-root fruit trees – Apples, Pears, Plum, Apricot, Peach, Cherry
- Cold-stored strawberry runners
- Alpine strawberries
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for August
Other gardening jobs to be done in March
With the improving weather, many people look to get out in their gardens to catch up on jobs they didn’t get around to before the winter months, but something that should be at the top of your to-do list is to tidy up your garden. If there have been any storms over the winter months, you should double-check that your fences aren’t broken and finish any other odd construction jobs that might need doing.
Charles Dowding says March is the perfect time to carry out jobs like weeding and tidying up your beds: “Pay attention to your beds, to weed them all the time, little and often, so that you have ground ready for new seeds and plants at any stage. This also reduces slug habitat and prevents weeds going to seed.”
Other jobs that you can do in March is installing protection for your fruit and vegetables that keep them safe from pests, feeding your brassicas and fruit, covering beds with cloches and black plastic to warm the soil in your garden for early sowings and then sowing your seeds and planting any fruit bushes or trees you have.
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for July
Crops that are ready to be harvested in March
- Brussel sprouts
- Winter cauliflowers
This article looks at just some of the fruit and vegetables you can plant in March and the jobs you should consider doing during the month. For more tips and blogs like this, head to our news section.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.