March gardening: Five vegetables to plant in your garden tomorrow
Homebase advises on garden jobs to do in March
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Green-thumbed Britons can rejoice as March kickstarts the beginning of spring in the UK. The sunnier days and milder temperatures provide the perfect opportunity to plant new flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Here are five vegetables you can plant in your garden from this week.
Asparagus is an easy-to-grow vegetable that produces new shoots from mid-spring to early summer.
They should be grown in the ground rather than in a container.
As a perennial, asparagus plants will crop annually.
Before planting them, make sure you prepare the soil by clearing all weeds and digging in organic matter.
Asparagus is usually grown from crowns, but can also be grown from seed.
March is a key time to plant out asparagus crowns. Choose a planting site which gets plenty of sun, and ensure the soil is well-drained.
To plant, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) stated: “Dig a trench 30cm (1ft) wide and 20cm (8in) deep. Fork garden compost or well-rotted manure into the base of the trench and cover with a 5cm (2in) layer of the excavated soil.
“Make a ridge of soil, 10cm (4in) high, along the centre of the trench.
“Place the crowns on top of this ridge, with the growing points or new shoots uppermost, spacing plants 30–45cm (12–18in) apart.”
Broad beans are another crop that is fairly easy to grow and boasts tender beans in large pods.
Broad beans which are sown in March promise a summer yield.
To plant broad beans outdoors, ensure you avoid any waterlogged or heavy soil.
If you live in a cold area, it might be a good idea to start off your broad beans indoors.
Before sowing, fork plenty of compost into the planting area, then rake the surface.
Mark out 5cm deep drills, with about 20cm between each, or sow as double rows 60cm apart. Seeds should be sown 5cm deep.
Cover the seeds with soil, firm it down and water. For cold days, you may need to cover the area with horticultural fleece.
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Onions are a versatile vegetable and are also fairly easy to grow.
The easiest way to do this is from sets, which is the name given to onion’s immature bulbs.
They can be planted in the spring for a summer harvest.
Onions can be sown directly outdoors as soon as your soil is drying out and warming up.
RHS stated seeds should be sown in 1.3cm deep rows around 20cm apart.
Thin out seedlings first to 5cm apart, and later to 10cm.
Water your onions in prolonged dry spells every 14 days. They will also benefit from a general liquid fertiliser.
However, once onions swell in mid-summer, you can stop watering as regularly.
Chives can be grown in a container in your garden and won’t take up much space.
However, it is best to wait until any risk of frost has passed before planting them outside.
While you are waiting for warmer temperatures to arrive, chives can be kept in a greenhouse or even on a sunny windowsill.
Transplant them outside when seedlings are about 5cm high, though be sure to give them around a week to harden off before moving.
These plants do best in well-drained soil and enjoy sun or partial shade.
They should be watered regularly, especially during bright, hot periods.
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Potatoes can be grown either in pots or directly in the ground.
March is a great time to chit seed potatoes, before transferring them outside towards the end of the month.
Chitting lets the potatoes grow shoots before planting, which will give you a bigger crop.
This can be done by placing seed potatoes in trays or egg cartons and leaving in a cool, bright spot for up to six weeks.
Before planting, ensure the soil is prepared and weed-free.
Dig straight trenches roughly 12cm deep and 60cm apart.
Plant your potatoes around 30cm apart.
Potatoes should be “earthed up” when the shoots grow to approximately 20cm tall.
To do this, use a rake or spade to make mounds of soil around the bases of the shoots.
Be sure to cover the stems halfway. This process should be repeated as the potatoes grow.
Potatoes like plenty of water, especially during dry spells.
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