March: Miles Ferrante

March brings spring with lengthening periods of light, stronger sunshine and March winds. As soon as the average daily temperature achieves 6C (43F) it is time to plant. For Warwickshire in an average year this is usually between 15th and 20th March.
Lots to do on the allotment so if you get a chance do as much as you can when you can as you never know what the weather will bring. Last year March and April were very cold so it was a very late start.

Sow:

  • Brussel sprouts – Maximus does well at St Mary’s.
  • Parsnip seeds at the end of the month if warmer and if the soil is dry – Tender and True and Hollow Crown both tried and tested varieties.
  • Spring onions – White Lisbon the best or try Lila for something different.
  • Radishes
  • Summer cabbage – Candissa are small but sweet, Brunswick for very big cabbages.
  • Continue sowing early peas (we sell 2 varieties at the shop)
  • Leeks, with the introduction of Leek moth in the last few years it’s probably a good idea to net them.
  • Spinach – Perpetual is easy to grow and comes again once cut.
  • Not too late for broad beans if your autumn sown ones did not survive
  • Sow early carrot seeds under cloches (Pre-warm the ground by putting cloches over the ground for a week or two before planting, but remember those march winds and anchor them well) – try yellow and purple carrots.
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Don’t sow seed when soil sticks to your boots.

Plant:

  • Onions – red, yellow and white types sold in the shop.
  • Shallots – also sold in shop.
  • Plant new asparagus in prepared beds or top dress established beds with farmyard manure
  • Plant Jerusalem artichokes
  • Chit potatoes

Fruit:

  • Plant trees as soon as soil conditions permit.
  • Feed established trees and bushes with a good fertilizer, we have several granular and liquid types in the allotment shop including Tomorite, Growmore, Bonemeal, Fish Blood and Bone and Vitax Q4.
  • Plant raspberries and strawberries

Herbs

  • As soon as the soil warms up sow small amounts of chervil, chives, dill marjoram, parsley and sorrel
  • Divide fennel roots
  • Split chive roots
  • Split old clumps of bergamot and sorrel

Greenhouse

  • Clean greenhouse with soapy water and use a scraper to get algae off the glass, you can buy a good one from the pound shop, also wash down with jeyes fluid to kill any bacterial spores. Finally use a fumigator to get rid of red spider mite, greenfly etc, we sell these in the allotment shop, open wed and sun 10am until 12.
  • If you haven’t tested your soil you should do this as a matter of importance because if your soil is too acidic it will need lime. Lime sweetens the soil, adds alkalinity and some say reduces mares tail because mares tail prefers an acidic soil.

Finally a quote from Jean Jaques Rousseau
“Plant and your partner plants with you, weed and you weed alone!”