Five-a-Dale Growers Society – March

Ey up now then and how art thee!

By now, spring is almost here. Days are getting longer, and temperatures are slowly warming up. Longer days help new growth and with a little protection, early sowing can be made. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and speak to seasoned gardeners, in case of frost.

SOW AND PLANT: Potatoes – as soon as you can. Transplant any early peas, broad beans, cabbages or lettuce you may have started off earlier. Sow the seeds of Brussels sprouts, summer cabbages, broccoli, onions and leeks on a seed-bed. You can transplant these in April.

Sow in the open ground seeds of round seeded spinach, Swiss chard, early types of beetroot, carrots parsnips, lettuce, Spring onions, peas, broad beans and turnips. Plant out onion sets, shallots and garlic before they start to produce shoots. Transplant any onions that were grown from seeds sown last summer into rows.

If you have a greenhouse, sow the seeds of celery, celeriac. French beans and cauliflowers to transplant to the open soil next month.

JOBS: Finish any digging and winter pruning. Clear the ground between strawberry plants and remove old leaves before feeding them some fertilizer. Keep some fleece handy to protect the plants from frost.

When the weather allows, finish preparing seed-beds for direct seed sowing. Spread the job out over several days to allow the surface of the soil to dry out.