March is the month where things really kick-off. You start to sow a lot of seeds, plant early potatoes, and it’s generally when the days get noticeably longer. It marks the end of winter, and the buds are starting to emerge, birds are singing and preparing their nests ready for laying their eggs.
Tulips, Daffodils and other spring bulbs are emerging and producing bright displays of colour that has been a long time coming. This month should start to bring in the drier weather so we can all finally catch up with the prep work missed during the very wet winter we have had.
Start off tender tubers
Yams, Sweet Potatoes and Oca should all be started off now in pots. These need warmth and take their time to get going. You should have good-sized plants by June. Alternatively, tubers can be planted directly outdoors in late May.
Pot on plants accordingly
After all the seeds sown over the past couple of months, it is important to ensure you keep potting these on to avoid checking their growth. It is surprising how fast they grow. Once a good set of roots have established and you see them poking through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, It’s time to move to the next size.
Use room temperature tap water
When watering your seedlings, use tap water and not rainwater. For established plants, rainwater is the best. For seedlings, there are too many pathogens in rainwater such as fungal. Use room temperature tap water and you will avoid green soil and rotting off issues.
We are all trying to keep warmth in our greenhouses so that our seedlings grow quick and strong and are protected from frost. However, Ventilation is often overlooked. If you do not add adequate ventilation to your greenhouse while it is humid you will create condensation which in turn will produce mould.
A great time to prune blueberries
Blueberries require pruning each year, this encourages new fruiting stems to grow and allows the plants to carry heavier yields. Pruning them now will create a proper open habit to the plant, It will allow better air movement as the middle of the plant is open to air and light. This reduces stress and pest issues.
Apply top dressing to Fruit Trees
Fruit trees are hungry plants and we expect a lot from them. Applying a high potash feed this month will really provide what the tree requires to carry a heavy crop. It can also help to make the fruit sweeter. Once you have given this feed, consider mulching. This helps conserve moisture in summer and prevents weeds from growing.
Potatoes, this is one crop that you will find nearly all gardeners who grow their own food can not do without. This month is a great time to start chitting or sprouting your potatoes. The jury is out whether this makes any difference. But from my own personal experiences, it certainly helps with 1st and 2nd early potatoes. For more info check out the video below, as I could talk about this subject for hours. I also have a blog on why you should grow in containers too.
Order your compost
Over the next few months, you are going to be using lots of compost. Order it early to ensure it’s on hand when you need it. You will be surprised how much you will require when sowing seeds this month. Alternatively, You may have already made your own compost from the waste in your garden. If this is the case then sieving it ready and mixing it with perlite or vermiculite will have you moving in no time. If you are fed up of purchasing compost, why not make your own at home. Here is a blog post that will provide you with all the information to make the best compost at home.
Make 100 hr candles
Heating your growing area if you do not have power can be a challenge. It can also be expensive. But if you have a small area this can be done with simple candles. Check out the blog post here on how to heat greenhouses. This has a video on how to make a 100-hour candle
Water seed trays
Watering seed trays is an easy job, but if you water from below it will prevent moulds and the surface of the compost from growing algae. It also helps to reduce damping-off disease.
Hand pollinate early blooms
Plants like peaches that flower early will require hand pollination. The bees usually are not flying yet and if you do not hand pollinate these blooms they will shrivel and fall. You will have lost the fruit that hand-pollinating would have given.
Here are some seeds to sow this month
- Broad Beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Globe Artichokes
- Salad leaves
- Swiss Chard
Things are really kicking off, over the next few months, your time is going to be well spent with tasks that seem menial. However, get this right now and you will Reap What You Sow! If you have got value from this article, consider subscribing to the blog to be notified each time I release new content. You can do this in the right-hand sidebar. Before you go. Check out some other blogs on my website, I am sure you will enjoy it just as much.