Gardening Diary March

Whatever the weather March is the busiest month for sowing so make sure the beds are cleared of winter crops and weeded in time for that brief spell of warmer weather which we are sure to get some time this month.Then start sowing – carrots (early varieties to beat the carrot fly), lettuce, radishes, onions, leeks, early peas, spinach, turnips, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and Swiss chard. If you have not yet sown broad beans and parsnips, or planted garlic and shallots get them in now!After the middle of the month plant onion sets and first early potatoes. It is also the right time if you want to plant or move Jerusalem artichokes, rhubarb and asparagus. Asparagus should benefit from a mulch of compost.This is the last month for planting fruit trees and strawberries and for pruning plums and autumn fruiting raspberries. Protect apricot and pear trees from frost and feed and mulch top fruit, cane fruit and bush fruit.It is also a busy time in the greenhouse for sowing later crops such as celery, celeriac, courgettes, sweetcorn, squash, sprouting broccoli, French and runner beans and swedes – though some may prefer to wait and sow most of these directly into the ground. And let’s hope for a good summer and sow melons, tomatoes and aubergines now for transplanting into the allotment after the frosts.