What to grow in March

In the greenhouse / indoors

Begin chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes for planting out in April when the risk of frost has reduced.

Sow aubergine seeds in the propagator – they have a long growing season.

Sow chilli peppers, sweet peppers, cucumbers, gherkins and tomato seeds indoors for greenhouse growing. your tomato seeds will usually germinate within 5 to 10 days. Best to keep temperature range 21ºC to 27ºC or 70F to 80F

Start basil seeds to grow on your kitchen windowsill, or for planting out after the risk of frost.

Sow perennial herbs such as lemon balm, rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme under cover. Sow salad leaves in pots and place on the windowsill or in the greenhouse.

Sow Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, celeriac and purple flowering broccoli under cover – they have a long growing season.

Start sowing winter brassicas such as cabbage in seed trays in a cold greenhouse.

Sow celery indoors from the middle of the month onwards.

Sow early broad bean and early peas, in seed trays of compost. Just push the seeds into the compost and keep watered; you can transplant them later once they’ve germinated.

In the cold frame/ under cloches

Sow lettuce in module trays under glass for transplanting into the garden later. Alternatively sow lettuce outside under cloches.

Direct sow carrots, parsnips, chicory and radishes under cloches.

Direct sow outdoors beetroot, broad beans for summer crop. If mice are a problem, sow into modules for transplanting later on.

Sow herbs, such as chives, coriander, dill and parsley, directly into the ground or in containers.

Direct sow summer and autumn cabbages, calabrese, kale, kohlrabi, turnip and leeks into well-prepared beds outdoors.

Start sowing spinach outdoors in soil enriched with plenty of organic matter.

Sow spring-onion seeds in drills outdoors for a quick crop to add to salads and stir fries.

Swiss chard can be sown outdoors for a colourful crop – they even look great in flower beds!

Plant outdoors

Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers as soon as the soil is workable, at a depth of 10-15cm.

As long as the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged, you can plant onion sets, garlic sets and shallots now for a crop this summer.

Towards the end of the month you can start planting out chitted early potatoes in the ground later in the month. If you don’t have enough space for growing potatoes on your plot, try a potato-growing kit for your patio.

Asparagus crowns can be planted into permanent beds. Dig a trench about 20-25cm deep and 30cm wide. Carefully place the crowns 45cm apart and ensure the emerging buds are just below soil level.

Rhubarb crowns can be planted into rich fertile soil – there is probably somebody on site who has a rhubarb plant they want to divide, it’s worth asking around.

Strawberry plants can be planted in the ground, or in hanging baskets.

It’s still not to late to plant fruit trees such as apple, pear, cherry and plum trees.

Community Spruce – hedge planting and wildflowers

Thank you for the members who helped out at our first community spruce event – hedge planting and seed bombing the wildlife garden.  Members made seed bombs that will help improve the diversity of wildflowers in the wildlife garden providing more forage for bees and insects and enhancing the biodiversity of the area.

The trees members planted will, in a few short years, provide a habitat and food for wildlife as well as foraging for plot holders.   The new hedge is made of 50% buckthorn (sloe berries) as well as wild native fruit trees including crab apple, plum, cherry, pear and juneberry.  It also includes various native roses such as dog rose, sweet briar rose and Rosa rugosa.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the 19th Bromley Scout Group who came along to help.   They had a tour of the allotments, learnt about what we grow on site and planted the first trees in the new hedge.  They also had fun throwing the seed bombs they’d brought with them into the wildlife garden.

Finally, thank you to the committee members who made lunch for the young people.

Our next Community Spruce event is Seedy Sunday on 24th March between 1-3pm.  There will be a community seed swap, seed sowing demonstrations and advice as well as activity for children.

The Shop is open for business

Since November we’ve had a number of requests to reopen the shop on a regular basis – and a number of volunteers to take turns behind the counter.

After speaking to members to find out what they’d like to buy from the shop we have placed an order for seeds and gardening gear and our Chair Linda reopened the shop on Sunday 17th February.

Planned shop hours are 10-12 on a Saturday and 12 – 2 on a Sunday.  If you need anything outside that time just ask a committee member and they will see if they can help.

There is a wide range of items available for sale, including:

  • ground cover fabric and pegs
  • fleece
  • netting
  • labels
  • string/ties
  • slug pellets (organic and safe for wildlife)
  • gardening gloves
  • bamboo canes
  • seed trays
  • watering cans

We’re also ordering seeds including:

  • beetroot
  • corn
  • pumpkin and squash
  • cucumber
  • sweetcorn
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • swede
  • courgettes
  • tomatoes
  • onion sets
  • garlic
  • potatoes
  • cabbage, sprouts,
  • strawberry plants

There will also be plants for sale later in the season.

We still have a few gaps in the shop rota – if you can spare some time on either a Saturday or Sunday once every 6 weeks please get in touch.