Think it’s too early to start working on your spring garden? It’s definitely not because March is the perfect time to get those cool weather veggies that can handle cool, early spring weather in the ground. It’s also a great time to sow a variety of seeds indoors so they’ll be ready for early planting.
Believe it or not, once you’ve prepared beds for them, you can start sowing seeds for many cool season veggies in March, along with broad (or fava) beans, which are some of the hardiest vegetables out there.
Carrot seeds can also be sown, as well as beetroot, kale, leeks, broccoli, horseradish, chicory, and turnips. Spring onions are also great early vegetables to plant in March, as well as spinach (make sure the soil is enriched with organic matter), peas, shallots and parsnips. You can also sow herbs like dill, chives and coriander directly into the ground in March or in containers if you prefer.
There are number of vegetables that you can start seeding indoors (or in a greenhouse) in March, including brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, squash and perennial herbs (all under cover), chili and sweet peppers and celery. If you have a greenhouse, you can also start sowing cucumbers, gherkins and tomato seeds.
For any seeds you start growing inside and under cover, you will be able to plant them outdoors in four to six weeks or generally by early to mid May.
Another great veggie you can start sowing in in March is salad leaves, which you can grow in a pot, or in a greenhouse. You can also plant asparagus and rhubarb crowns as soon as your soil is ready, along with shallots and garlic sets, as well as artichoke tubers.
Common in our region, is purchasing pre-grown seedlings often prepared in packs of 3, 4, or 6 allowing you to get a head start on some types of cool season vegetables. Not all are commonly available this way but certainly Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflowers, Brussel Sprouts, Lettuce, & Onions. Acquiring and starting early with these pre-grown seedlings minimizes on your seeding and preparation time while getting a head start in early spring. Remember that planting early doesn’t mean that these cool season veggies are “Freeze Proof” but actually “Frost Proof” meaning that they will not endure hard freezes still likely in February.
You might be a bit surprised at the number of vegetables that are hardy enough to endure the cooler temperatures of March but just think, if you get started on your planting now, you’ll have homegrown, fresh food in no time at all. It’s well worth your time – trust us!