What to do in March

March is an exciting month in the container garden. As the days warm and lengthen, it’s time to get everything ready to go.  There are also some seeds you can sow now (see below). 2022 has been a warm year so far which can make it tempting to start everything earlier than usual. It is always interesting to experiment – and you can be successful – but bear in mind that the weather may change. Snow at Easter is not unknown! In general, most seeds (apart from those listed below) are easier and less risky to start in April or May. You also need to be careful not to start too many plants inside or your kitchen and bedroom can quickly become overrun (I speak from experience).

Although the timings here are based on container gardening in the UK, they will also be relevant for many of those growing in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere.  In cooler or warmer regions, the timings will be similar but a little late or earlier. Look out for a seed sowing calendar for your area and use it in conjunction with the advice here.

This month

    1. Get your containers and compost ready
    2. Crops to sow outside
    3. Crops to sow inside
    4. Hunt out slugs 🙂
    5. Protect your seedlings
    6. What you can harvest now
    7. Common questions
    • Do I have to start sowing seeds this month? (Quick answer, NO!)
    • What potato varieties are best for containers?
    • What is ‘hardening off’ and why is it important?

 

One of the first signs of spring. Chive shoots return again at about this time every year.
One of the first signs of spring. Chive shoots return again at about this time every year.

 

1. Getting ready to grow….

From next month onwards, more plants can be moved outside into their final containers. Now’s a good time to take stock of your containers and compost supplies so that everything is ready. Remember that you you can reuse old compost to grow most of your crops. You’ll just want to add some worm compost or a general purpose fertiliser to replenish the nutrients that were depleted by last year’s crops.

2. Sow outside

The following crops will survive light frosts and early sowings can be sown outside this month (I tend to wait until the end of the month for most of them). 

  • Many salad leaves, including: Asian leaves, rocket, sorrel, spring onions, lettuce.
  • Peas and broadbeans
  • Swiss chard and leaf beat
  • Kale
  • Carrots (sow in modules or direct in their final pot – they don’t like their roots disturbed).
  • Beetroot (sow in modules or direct in their final pot – they don’t like their roots disturbed).
  • Turnip
  • Potatoes, towards the end of March. Cover them with a cloche or some horticultural fleece, as the growing tips are sensitive to frost.
  • Jerusalem artichokes

Indoor sowing vs. outdoor sowing

The above seeds (not potatoes or artichokes) can also be sown inside if you prefer. The advantages of starting them outside are that they grow stronger in the light and are better adapted to outside conditions.  But there is also a risk. A late cold snap, can stress seedlings and ‘check’ (ie slow) their growth. For example, hard frosts can cause chard seedlings to bolt (flower) prematurely.

The other drawback is that seeds sown outside can be slow to germinate in the cooler temperatures. One way round this is to germinate them inside (ideally in a place that is not too warm) and move them outside once they come up. Try to move them outside on a warmer day, not in the middle of a cold snap!

A third option is to start seeds inside and move them outside on warmer days to benefit from the extra light, and bring them back in again at night. This way they get the best of both worlds – warmth inside, light outside. This can work well but is more work. It also takes up more precious indoor space.

There isn’t really one best option, so it’s really a case of experimenting and trying different things. I like to sow seeds outside as much as I can, but I do occasionally germinate some inside. If I have a surplus of seeds (seed packets often have far more than I need) I often start a few trays outside early with an open mind. If they do well, great, but if not, I just sow another tray.

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4. Sow inside

You can sow the following inside, moving them outside once the weather gets warmer  (consistently over 10°C / 50°F). Mid to late March is a good time to start sowing tomatoes, but you can leave  it until mid to late April if indoor space is limited. Peppers, chillies and aubergines, on the other hand, need a longer growing season and are usually best sown before the end of the month. However, there are a few very quick maturing varieties chillies and peppers, which are ok to be sown until mid-April.

  • Tomatoes and tomatilloes
  • Peppers and Chillies
  • Aubergines

Bear in mind that tomatoes, in particular, grow fast and get big quickly. This is an issue when indoor space is at a premium. They quickly take over! One solution is to sow a few tomatoes this month (for an early crop) and the rest next month.

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4. Slug humt

Slugs are particularly damaging to seedlings. It’s dispiriting to wake up in the morning to find all your seedlings have been eaten (I speak from experience, unfortunately).

By finding and removing as many slugs as you can find now, you will help keep your seedlings safe. It also helps to start keep slugs numbers under control at the atart of the season. It’s impossible to get rid of slugs completely and there is no need to, as a few slugs won’t pose too many problems. However, large populations need to be avoided as they make succesful growing very difficult.  Have a hunt under pots and in any other cracks or areas they can hide. Go outside after dark one evening, ideally in wet weather (this is when most slugs are visible and active) armed with a torch, and collect up all the slugs you can find. You can move the collected slugs to a local park, feed to the birds, or give to a friend who has chickens. You can also cut them in half and add them to your wormery. This might sound cruel but it is much better than using slug pellets that kill other life indiscriminately – and you’ll be recycling their nutrients in the wormery, too.

5. Protect your seedlings

If you’ve sown some of your seeds outside, you can protect them form the weather with a cloche or by laying horticultural fleece over them if a cold snap is predicted. I confess that I am lazy these days and rarely cover any of my pots. I have too many pots and it’s fiddly and time consuming, and most things seem to survive OK without. But, if you do protect them, they will grow faster and stronger, and survive cold snaps better. It’s worthwhile if you have time and can be bothered.

You can protect your crops with cloches, for example upturned water cooler bottles or hoops covered in plastic . These can also offer some protection from slugs.  Or  buy ‘horticultural fleece’, which you just lie over your crops. Tie it on to the pot so it can’t blow off.

 

6. What you can harvest this month

  • Salads. If you sowed winter salads in August / September last year, you will notice that they begin to grow faster again as the day lengths get longer and the temperature warms. Salad leaves are often at their most flavoursome at this time of year.
  • Kale, chard and spinach. Established plants will grow strongly this month, too – and excellent harvests are often possible later in the month.
  • Jerusalem artichokes. Harvest any remaining tubers early in the month before they sprout again.
  • Herbs. Bay, thyme, rosemary, sage and other evergreen herbs can continue to be harvested sparingly this month.
  • The first rhubarb is often ready to harvest at the end of this month.
As growth of salads speeds up again, you can pick more to eat. This salad contains tatsoi, rocket, serifon, pea shoots and ful medame shoots.
As growth of salads speeds up again, you can pick more to eat. This salad contains tatsoi, rocket, serifon, pea shoots and ful medame shoots.

 

7. Common questions

Do I have to start sowing seeds now?

No. You can happily wait until April or May. Seeds will be more willing to grow then and you’ll still have time to start most things off. It’s a lot easier to grow from seed later in the year so if you’re new to growing you may want to try this… or at least don’t be hard on yourself if your early sowings don’t all work out.

The exceptions are tomatoes, chillies and aubergines. Because of how long they take to mature, sow early in the year.  Alternatively, you can always buy these as small plants in April or May instead. This is sometimes the best strategy, particularly if you don’t have space or a good light windowsill to raise plants inside.

What variety of potato does best in containers?

‘First early’ and ‘Second early’, are the fastest potato varieties to grow (ready by June if planted in March) and are the best choice for containers.  They give you the delicacy of new potatoes , and, because you can harvest them in June, free up big pots to grow other crops in (like courgettes or runner beans) over the productive summer months. Main crop’ potatoes are slower to grow and need larger containers. They produce higher yields later in the year. They need larger containers.  Read how to grow potatoes in containers here. 

What is hardening off and why is it important?

Hardening off is the term for acclimatising plants that are started inside to the colder temperatures and more turbulent winds outside. It’s best done gradually – or the change in climate stresses plants and sets them back.

Simply put plants outside for a few hours each day on warm days, bringing them it again at night. Slowly increase the amount of time they are outside. Avoid putting them out on very windy days unless you can protect them from the wind.

Even hardy plants (those not sensitive to frost) that are sown inside will often benefit from being hardened off.

Most plants benefit from hardening and I recommend it. But it is not always essential. If you need to move plants outside without hardening off, try to move them during a warmer, less windy weather spell if you can.

The added benefit of moving seedlings outside during the day is that it gives them a healthy dose of outdoor light. You can read more about the value of this and how to avoid spindly seedlings here.

These are some seedlings that I've put outside for a dose of light on a warm day. The lid keeps them protected from the cold wind - but I'll take this off, too, when the seedlings get a bit bigger and stronger.
These are some seedlings that I’ve put outside for a dose of light on a warm day. The lid keeps them protected from the cold wind – but I’ll take this off, too, when the seedlings get a bit bigger and stronger. The masking tape on the side of the lid prevents it blowing off in the wind.

 

Your turn

What are you doing this month in your container garden? I’d love to hear in the comments.

 

45 thoughts on “What to do in March”

  1. Hi Mark
    Once again, thks for your post. Now you know how it feels to garden here in Switzerland😖….at this time of year anyway. Hope it warms up soon! Best wishes, Jeanne

  2. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for all the tips and inspiration. We are gardening in a small back garden in Penrith, Cumbria, last year was a slow start due to being flooded in our rented house, happily our long term home is on a hill. We’ve taken up our tiny lawn and replaced it with beds surrounded by sleepers. We have some single cordon apple trees that I grafted myself at a local workshop, we’ve squeezed in a greengage, to be fan trained. We have a red currant and a couple of blackcurrants, and raspberry canes. By the time we’d got the beds done it was too late in the season to do much so we put it garlic to over winter and it’s thriving. The sun was shining this morning so the beds are hoed and I’ve planted some beetroot and rocket in the gaps the garlic. I’ve planted cut and come again lettuce in an old sink and spinach in our broken wheelbarrow, right by the back door. We wanted some flowers for hanging baskets and I’m so excited to have found some edible osteopurmum, and will be looking out for a tomato plant for a final hanging basket.

    Any tips for which chilli varieties grow well up North?

    How is your Newcastle garden going?

    Many thanks again!
    Kate

  3. Great post! Thanks for the tips.
    Hardening off seeds is very important because factors like the frost ,wind and direct sun can affect the growth of seedlings and small plants.

  4. brian and Laraine Hannah

    We are building new raised beds in our small front garden, and doing a lot of rearranging in the backyard, moving greenhouse, adding new pot holders to the walls adding some new wooden troughs again home made and removing some pots, and finally starting work on the pond before Easter

  5. Hello Mark,

    I have a question regarding the runner beans. I want to use them as a decorative element for more privacy: will they be ok in a normal plants-box?
    L: 59,6 cm
    W: 22,0 cm
    H: 17,2 cm
    I know it isn’t that deep, but since I don’t expect to have a great amount of beans, mainly for ornamental means? The only place I can put them is hanging on my balcony margin.
    Thanks!
    Best wishes
    Jurate

    1. Yes, should be ok, if you don’t want them for the beans. Runners like plenty of water, which will be harder to give in smaller container – so you might want to add a reservoir or something water retentive like perlite to your growing media.

  6. Its tomato seeds inside and micro greens outside including radish, asian greens and pea shoots. Ive been using a clear plastic box as a mini greenhouse.

  7. I have sowed lettuce, tomatoes, broad beans and (probably too early)a few French beans. Lettuce is up, as is a couple of broad beans and I am still waiting for my deliberately-sown tomatoes but I have had a few self seeded ones come up in recycled compost, so will likely transplant those. The original seed was grown from an unusually tasty supermarket mini plum type and were true to type then, so I’ll have to see if that continues. One question – I sowed chard last august and have recently needed to repot the plants as they are growing on well. In my case will I need to resow now or shall I just repeat in late summer again?

    1. Hi Lora, chard is great isn’t it? It’s a biennual which means it usually lasts two years. It will start to flower and go to seed later this year. So sowing some more later in the year (I usually sow some in April or May) will help you to keep a continuous supply. Some people say that if you keep removing the flowers from chard you can get it to last more than two years. But I’ve not tried this myself. It might an interesting experiment.

      1. Thanks Mark, I might try that out with a plant or two. I will probably sow a few more later either way. I am hoping for some yellow chard next time as all my bright lights have been red veined or pink so far!

        1. Hi Lora,
          Possible a bit late as it’s been a year since your last post, but I have experimented with chards over the years and established that you can ‘predict’ the colour of their stalks by looking a the shade of the seeds… i.e. the darker the seed the ‘redder’ or ‘pinker’ the stalks. This means that those seeds that are an almost white-ish beige colour will produce lighter stems. The yellow stems come from the fully beige seeds.
          In the past I used to go with the larger seeds and discard the smaller ones but then realised that the larger ones are often the darkest too as I was ending up with mostly red…
          Hope this helps,
          M.

          1. No problem about timing Emm, I was on email notification for new posts anyway. It’s an interesting point about the chard seeds and I’ll check them a bit more closely for how they look if I sow Bright Lights again. At the moment I am sowing just the plain green perpetual spinach to see if I feel the taste/texture is any closer to spinach.

  8. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for all your useful advice. I’ve had mixed results with my container garden (first attempt last year in a new flat), but I managed to grow some lovely blueberries and strawberries, and got lots of peas and some gorgeous sunflowers and pansies. I planted redcurrants as well, and hope to get some fruit off them this year. My root crops were too shallowly planted, so didn’t really do anything, but I’ve got teeny tiny carrots and leeks still living, so I’m leaving them to see if they manage to flower this year. 😉 I planted them in a paddling pool that just wasn’t deep enough for the purpose.

    I would like to grow greens, but had bad luck last year with leaf miners. I tried doing them indoors on our south-facing windowsill, but they just didn’t get enough sun there. I was thinking of growing them on a four-tier greenhouse shelving unit and covering the whole thing with some horticultural fleece to keep the egg-laying bugs off. I would need to put the shelves up against a wall for stability, and wonder if a west-facing wall would get too hot in the afternoon sun for leafy greens? (in Scotland, so sun is an if and when thing) I would like to reduce or delay bolting as much as possible. Any advice is welcome.

    My only options are a south-facing yard with south and west facing walls, or a north-facing yard with a north-facing wall that is mostly in shadow except for early morning and late afternoon. The south yard is shaded in the morning by the flat next door, which is one of the west-facing walls I mentioned, and there is a small alcove between that wall and our doorway that gets southern sun, but is partly shaded from the west as well as the east. It contains a rosebush that seems to thrive there, but there’s space for the shelving unit if that would be a better option than right out in the western sun. The horticultural fleece should also protect the greens from the aphids which attack the rosebush, I hope.

    Any thoughts?

    1. HI Jeneva
      In general, sun is a good thing for most vegetables – not only does it help them grow faster, they also grow stronger and more resilient to pests when they get sun. It is true that hot weather can sometimes make salads bolt. The trick here is to have a seperate seedling area and to keep sowing salads – so if they do bolt you have more seedlings to add in. And usually bolting is only much of a problem in July and August. Instead of horticultural fleece you could use enviromesh. I think (but I’m not 100% certain) that this would have less warming effect than horticultural fleece and certainly breathes better. It may also provide slight protection against the sun. Keeping salads well watered will also help prevent bolting. The best way to find out what works is usually just to try it – try growing a few different crops in a few different places and see what happens. You could also grow a lot of micro greens – ie small salad leaves. These grow quickly and you’ll get a new crop every few weeks – and before they have a chance to bolt. There’s a video on this here:http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/how-to-grow-the-best-salads-at-the-lowest-cost/. Hope this helps and good luck.

    2. On thinking about it, I’d be tempted to try some without any mesh covering them – if they are growing healthy and happily in the sun they’ll be less prone to pests. If leaf miner are a problem, look for their small white eggs on the backs of the leaves and squash them before they hatch.

      1. Thanks for the advice, I’ll give it a try. I also didn’t know you could detect the eggs, for some reason I thought they were laid inside the leaf. That’s good to know.

    3. Hello,

      I use a summerweight fabric row cover on my chard, beets and spinach. I hate leafminers and they attach quickly here in California. I use those bamboo hoops for pea growing and wrap the fabric over the pot in a single layer. I trim the excess and clamp it to the edge of the pot. I simply remove once a day to water and then recover. On very hot, sunny days I vent the cover from below. I find the moth that lays the eggs is a little too lazy to force his way in from below, so long as I don’t leave it open all day. I just make sure the fabric is very light weight and does not rest on the plants themselves.

  9. Radishes are up and the first of the mini finger carrots are just showing. Tomatoes and peppers were pricked out this weekend, and the lettuce, chard and spinach I sowed in modules two weeks ago are all up! I love this time of year so much – seed sowing makes me so happy! The promise of all that lovely veg to come and wonderful hours pottering in the patch – what could be better. Hoping to harvest the first of my pea shoots later this week which will be the first crop of this year.

  10. Best time of year for me. Seedlings in the greenhouse are going for it. Since giving up my allotments after 50 years we use every little space around our bungalow. In the side garden I have planted first early potatoes Winston and salad potatoes Nicola. In part of the front garden I have planted International Kidney. Wilkinsons stores are selling 40 litre tubs for £3 so I bought six of these and planted them up with Charlotte salad potatoes in the back garden by the chicken house. Outside in the back garden there are spring onions and baby beets poking their heads up. The mint pots have started growing again after the winter. I have planted shallots in two places in tubs (old council paper bins). One comment I would like to make is regarding the use of old compost. I do use old compost after adding some nutrients, and after looking for Vine Weevil grubs which have a habit of living in last years compost. If they are left there then they will destroy any new roots. And of course the deadly slugs that seem to hide under a pinhead. Happy gardening.

    Best wishes,

    Mike Peirson.

  11. Excellent tips! I feel blessed that I found your site with so many tips and with a very similar weather. I live in northern Germany which makes it quite difficult to grow in our terrace because of these everlasting strong winds and grey skies. Last year was my first adventure growing our own greens and some tomatoes. I’d like to expand the varieties, but I don’t know what could be the best to grow. Strawberries were not that good last year (we had them in our wall, on felt containers I made myself following the same concept of Vertiflor. The plants grew very nice, not the fruit, have no idea why. The salads, chard and spinachs I had in wood containers (35x45x35 cm aprox.) were quite good. Lasted several months, chard and one salat until autumn! I already planted the seeds. Spinach is already growing fast, some salads on their way. I’ve been thinking to grow carrots or potatoes, but I have no idea if the containers of this size would do for these plants. I’m also growin indoors 2 lemons and 4 passion’s fruit. I’ve had to cut the passion’s fruit already 2 times! grows so fast but in a single branch. I’d like it to spread a bit and not to grow that tall. They are growing above the heater in my big livingroom window. And of course, herbs: Parsley, Coriander (Cilantro), Oregano, Thyme, Lavendel, Rosmary. Basil seems it won’t survive, too cold at the moment, I’ll have to buy another plant. I also have some sweet chili seeds (non-spicy) from my homeland (Venezuela) in a seeder indoors, and at nights I keep it above the radiator to keep them warm. In the next weeks or already in May we’re going to try with some new strawberry plants, and tomatoes again. Last year despite the cold, they were excellent! (and planted in one of the wooden boxes out side all the time). We also had yellow zucchini and red pepper bell. Those gave only 2 or 3 fruits each 🙁 so I don’t know if I should try them again. I’ll keep updated with your posts. Great content you have and thank you for sharing all this info!

    1. Sounds like you are doing really great! In answer to your question about carrots, they should be fine in that size of pot. Home grown carrots taste delicious but I don’t grow too many because when you harvest them, they’re gone – where as many other crops keep giving you food over several weeks even months. Potatoes (1st earlies) grow quick and are fun – and your pot is just large enough for a few – a bit bigger would be better if you have one but not essential. Zucchini like big pots and lots of sun – then can be very productive. Peppers also like lots of sun. It makes me wonder – is your terrace getting much sun? I wonder if maybe not as the all the crops that did well for you like a lots of it. Very good luck in 2014!

      1. Hi Mark, thanks for your answer. In theory we should get tons of sun (all terrace is south oriented), as always as the clouds and storms you sent us from UK are not that many ;). Funny enough I just saw that you’re in Newcastle, so we live int he same line, straight to the east from you haha! (Flensburg, Germany). So I’ll be checking your updates and advices for sure!. I don’t think I’ll try with Zucchini this year. Needed a lot of space (I had only one plant and it produced only 2 small fruits), or Peppers, also 2 very small ones only. I prefer the idea of growing greens. They grow fast I can always crop the outer leaves, keeping the plant. Last year they lasted for months. I’ll give it a try with the Chinese greens you mentioned in one of your posts -need to go back to read again everything ;-). Ah also wanted to give it a try to the edible flowers you also mention in one of the posts, forgot its name. Thanks a lot for all your info!

  12. Hi Mark

    First, (and most importantly), thank you for this excellent site and for all the hard work you put into sharing your adventures in veg growing. It really is invaluable for someone like me just getting started. A top source of knowledge and inspiration.

    Second, apologies for the very long post. My partner, and most other people I know, think veg growing is a bit boring and middle aged and have very limited tolerance for me going on about it, so hopefully you won’t mind. Either way, I certainly appreciate being able to see what’s happening on your site when I have a moment.

    Third, if you’re interested, this is what I’m up to: I’m lucky to have a reasonable sized roof terrace on top of my flat in London. Much of it gets sun most of the day. Having never gardened in my life, I went up there in September last year having been away most of the summer and found that two pots left by the people who lived there before me had tomato plants growing in them that had produced a handful of ripe tomatoes (they must have been planted at least a year before as we have been in since November 2012, and I assume they must have grown from the seed of the previous year’s fruit). I ate them and was stunned by how good they were. I reasoned that if I could produce tomatoes that nice by accident, I should see what I could do with a little effort. I planted a family apple tree and fair bit of garlic at the end of last year. I have recently planted broad beans, mange tout, salad leaves, radishes, spring onions, carrots, and beetroot, all in containers up there. I also have some herbs, aubergine, chilli and tumbling tom tomato seedlings in a propagator on my windowsill. I plan to sow cucumbers and courgettes direct outside when it heats up a bit, and to plant gardeners delight and alicante tomatoes in the propagator in April to put outside later.

    Fourth, (if you have reached this far) I have a query: I am going away for two weeks from 12 April. I have no one I can bother to water regularly enough. I have bought an automatic irrigation system for the pots outside so they should be fine, but I am concerned about how to deal with the plants that are currently seedlings. I have a plan but don;t know if it is sensible. I have bought a mini pvc greenhouse (culticave) and intend to move what are now seedlings out into that and set up the auto-irrigation system to water them as well. Can I ask, do you think they will be strong enough by that point to deal with it (they are at the point now that I can just see the very beginnings of the first true leaves)? If not, do you have any other suggestions? If so, roughly how much water do you think they will need daily? Also, would it be advisable to put them out there during the day the week or so before I go away so that it’s not too much of a shock when they’re left overnight? Please don’t worry if you don’t have the time to get back, but any advice would be ace.

    Either way, all the best for your year ahead.

    Michael

    1. Hello Michael
      Thanks for writing and I LOVED your story about finding the rogue tomato. What a brilliant way to be inspired about growing. Thank you for sharing.
      Your tomatoes and aubergines are sensitive to frost and the ‘official’ date for the last frost in London is around the end of April. However, inside their mini greenhouse, fingers crossed they should be OK. I’d definitely put them out for a few hours each day before you go away to start acclimatizing them. Put them out on the warmer days to begin with and then slowly leave them for a bit longer and put them out on slightly cooler days, too.
      One solution to the watering might be capillary matting. It’s not something I’ve used myself but I know some people who swear by it and I think it might be just the thing for watering (but not over watering) seedlings. Do keep in touch – would love to hear how your roof garden evolves!

      1. Hi Mark

        Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. That’s really helpful advice. I’ll look into the capillary matting as well.

        I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress.

        Michael

  13. Such a useful article! Loved reading it and I got many tips I can’t wait to put to use!

    I couldn’t help myself and I’ve had some tomatoes and pepper seeds sown indoors. Potatoes are chitting nicely and spring onions are doing well under polythene tunnel outside. Also, I have some garlic sown in autumn, it seems to enjoy the warmer days we had lately!

    Looking forward to you “what to do in April” article! 🙂

  14. Thanks for the help. I’m restarting gardening after a burnout nad the information is really helpful. And “nicely” done! Thanks, precious gardener! Have a good year! 🙂

  15. PC been out of order for a while…had to fit a new hard disc drive…now back online….Saw the sun the other day (swoon), it was just a bit warmer here in the south east of the uk, but the north easterly wind is back today. I have given up my allotments and really enjoying growing at home in my restricted bungalow garden. At the moment I am up to date in the greenhouse with everything raring to get on with it.. There are still hard frosts in the morning so every evening I have to cover the little blighters with fleece and bubble plastic just in case. I don’t wan’t to bore you all but here is a list of my seedlings that are growing in the greenhouse at the moment. I have spuds (Foremost and Home Guard) Pots and pots of Comfrey taken from my allotment plants which have given me so many leaves over the years from a little bit of stalk with a leaf on it given to me years ago by an allotment friend..Tomatoes..Peppers..Early half Tall Brussels Sprouts (yum yum)..cabbages for the chickens and us..Carrot Autumn King and Nantes types..Roquette..Salad Bowl lettuce..Sage..Sweet Majoram..Dill..Basil….Outside under clotches I have Garlic..Shallots..and spring onions..and Spinach..and a variety of flower seedlings including Livingstone Daisies..African Marigolds..Sweet Peas..Petunias..Snapdragons..
    and Lobelia..the list goes on and on….just waiting for a bit of warmth now to make me happy..happy gardening to you all….

    1. Wow, Mike, what a wonderful selection of veg, my mouth is watering just reading. Do let us know how you get on – and would love to share a picture of your growing here later in the year if you’re have the chance and would be happy to send one. Now, let’s hope it gets a bit warmer!

  16. Hullo!
    This year I’ve started a bunch of cherry tomatoes, four types of pepper plus chilli (I am Hungarian, therefore a big fan of pepper), two types of turnips (green and purple), chives and basil. The peppers were slow to germinate, but they’re well on their way now, so I’m quite glad. Later on, I will sow some herbs directly in an outside container (I live in France and all the different herbs I would like to use in my kitchen, like marjoram, lovage, dill are difficult to find here). I do have two fairly sunless terraces and I’ve been strugling with the difficult task of growing herbs, but I haven’t given it completely up.
    Well, have a nice spring all of you lovely gardeners and best of luck to everyone with their veggies!

    1. Hi Monika, lovely to hear about your plans, thank you for sharing. I love the selection of veg you’re growing – and a great idea to growing the herbs you like that are difficult to find in your shops. I see what you’re saying about lack of sun – can be tricky! Most leafy stuff – like your lovage – should do OK. Have you found a nice sunny spot for your peppers and chillies? They love sun! T
      Thanks again for sharing.

      1. Hullo again!
        I do have sun for about a maximum of 4 hours during the summer. So I do have to start my vegetables early, otherwise autumn catches up with me and I don’t have much to harvest. Luckily, the weather is generally mild in Bordeaux. Next year, though, I’ll start a lot sooner on everything for a maximum of veggies and herbs, see how that works out.
        In any case, thanks for answering me and thanks for your website and useful tips. It’s highly appreciated in this corner of France.
        Have a nice evening!
        Monika

        1. Sun is good, Monika. Six hours or more is ideal for chillies – so you’ve set yourself a bit of a tough challenge growing them in four hours. Do let us know how it goes.

  17. What a lovely website! This year i’m turning my council flat landing into a vegetable and herbs growing patch.It was snowing this morning, I’m glad i waited.

    1. Love the sound of your project, Evelyn – would love to hear how it goes. Do you get much sun on your landing?

      1. thank you. I’ve only just managed to catch up with the course. 4 hours of sunshine is all i’ve got! I’ve decided to plant runner or french beans, the gardener’s delight seeds you’ve sent, carrots, kale (the Cavelo nero looks nice), herbs and salads. I’ll also give growing peas inside a try. I like plants who seed or can been grown with cuttings. Looking forward to the course.

  18. I have had allotments for over 50 years now, but have the dreaded arthritis for my trouble. Never mind, once a gardener always a gardener. My back garden is full of containers now ready for planting. Luckily I brought one of my greenhouses from the allotment (8’x6′) last year and I have seedlings growing. I have grubbed up the Rosemary bushes from the side garden and this will be used for my spuds as well as the containers in the back garden. I still have a good compost heap at the allotment which I can use as I have chooks at home here. I am looking forward to this month as there are lots of seed to sow. This morning when I woke up at 4am it is snowing, only about 2″ deep at the moment.

    Mike Peirson

    1. We have snow here, too, Mike. Loved hearing about all your containers, and clever move to bring a greenhouse to your garden – so handy for getting those seedlings of yours off to a good start. I’ve just managed to get hold of some plastic from an old poltunnel & hope to use it to rig up something similar in backyard. Happy seed sowing! Mark

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