What to plant and sow in March
John, DIYer & IT developer, Brighton60 guides
For most gardeners, the year really kicks off in March. Depending on where you live, the amount of sun exposure you have and what you plan to grow, you can start seeds indoors and in greenhouses, repot your indoor plants and sow your summer annuals. Lettuces, leeks and carrots can also go in the ground from mid-March.
- Types of vegetables and plants
Organising your March planting schedule
Spring is also the time of year when climate differences across the country are at their most pronounced. Gardening guides won't usually differenciate between regions, but bear in mind that things will generally be slightly ahead of time in the south of the country. Similarly, in mountainous areas, altitude must also be taken into account; account for a delay of around 3 or 4 days per 100 m of altitude difference.
What to sow directly in the ground
- spring turnips;
- hardy lettuce varieties, such as:
- butter lettuce;
- batavia 'French crisp';
- frisée (curly endive);
- oak leaf lettuce;
- smooth peas;
- broad beans;
- Chinese cabbage;
- spinach ;
Sowing seeds in a mini greenhouse
Sowing seeds in trays, pots and mini greenhouses
Warmer parts of the country can start these at the beginning of the month. Cooler areas should wait until the end of the month as it is not likely that you'll be able to plant anything in the ground before the end of May.
What to plant directly in the ground
Repotting and topdressing potted plants
Using a crop cover to encourage growth
Remember to uncover your plants and seedlings on sunny days and when the weather is milder.
Annual flowers: sowing seeds and planting
Planting in the ground
You can find flower seed mixes to grow a flower meadow of your own. Simply scatter the seeds in spring for a patchwork of beautifully coloured flowers.
These mixes also help to attract butterflies, bees and other insects. In addition to the flowers already mentioned, they can contain other wild flowers such as coreopsis, wild chrysanthemum, corncockle and malope.
You can also try starting the following seedlings: knapweeds, larkspur, love-in-a-mist (which have lovely blue flowers and self-sows), sweet peas (can be kept in partial shade) and borage (pretty blue flowers and edible).
Sowing seeds in a greenhouse or indoors
- morning glories;
- flowering tobacco plants
- sweet peas
- red camomile;
Planting annual and perennial flowers
Sowing and planting your perennial flowers
Sowing seeds indoors
If you want your perennials to flower in summer, sow your seeds in a mini greenhouse or indoors in February or March. This is a good option for flowers like perennial carnations, blue flax, fuchsias and Himalayan blue poppies.
Planting your perennial plants
Towards the end of the month, hollyhock, bergenia, lupins, mallow and pincushions can all go in your flowerbeds. Plant your fuchsias, hostas and foxgloves in partial shade. You can plant your foxgloves in tightly packed groups in a flowerbed or along the length of a hedge.
Rock gardens can welcome aubreita, sweet alyssum and sedums.
Planting bulbs in the ground or indoors
As a general rule, bulbs should be planted down to a depth of at least 2 to 3 times their height from the top of the bulb up to the surface of the soil. However, some, such as lilies and agapanthus, need to be planted deeper in the ground (up to 30 cm).
Planting bulbs in the ground
Dig a hole using a bulb planter or spade. Do not use a pointed spade at the risk of leaving a large space around the bulb. Do not use fertiliser: use a special bulb compost instead.
Bulbs to plant indoors
- begonias (tuberous);
- ornamental onion;
Hardy plants for balconies and planters
Looking to brighten up your balcony in March? Fill out your planters with cold-hardy flowers that will blossom before the end of spring, such as daisies, violets, pansies and yellow alyssum.
Many different varieties of flowers – including those grown from bulb – can be grown in pots, planters or other types of tray. Fill up your containers with a mixture made up of 1/3 fertiliser, 1/3 garden soil and 1/3 sand.
You can also cover a wall, fence or trellis with climbing plants such as clematis, honeysuckle or ivy.
Gardening and growing vegetables throughout the year
John, DIYer & IT developer, Brighton 60 guides écrits
From a very young age, I was always fascinated by manual and technical work, especially woodworking. When I got my very first flat, it became my own personal DIY playground. I rewired some of the electricity (remember, safety first!) to better supply all my computers and gadgets. I also built partition walls and did some decorating with my wife. We worked on some made-to-measure furniture and came up with little tricks to optimise the space, keeping the original charm of the building in mind. When the little one arrived, I started building bits and pieces for him as well.
We don't have a lot of space, so I don't have a permanent workshop or certain tools I've always dreamed of owning. But with my IT background, I already know a lot about DIY, and I love helping others troubleshoot their ideas!