Garden Diary for March

PLANNING FOR SPRING….I Can just hear you all saying REALLY! BUT IT’S STILL SUMMER. But I bet your gardens starting to get that scruffy look and at least for a few nights this month you have actually pulled the blankets up….So definitely an autumnal change happening. This week we collected the seed off our lettuce plants so now we can pull the old plants out and sow that garden bed with a Green crop. The pea seeds have also been harvested. It is almost too late to get brassicas, and carrots in.Most things planted now will grow a little till it gets cold and then sit there through winter. An early warm spring means you may get some quick growth and a harvest at a time when theirs not much else to eat. Silverbeet and kale will still grow well if planted now, and it is a great time to start planting broadbeans. I can hear many of you saying YUCK! yes my mum overcooked those great big things too, but luckily our kids won’t have that experience. I promise you picked at about pea size they are yummy just steamed, and a great food for late winter/ spring. They have the added bonus of being a great winter nitrogen fixing green crop, so give them a go. Some pea varieties can be planted in the autumn as well. Nows the time to plan where you will plant this years garlic (Plant in June) they will be in the ground for at least 6 months but are so easy they are worth the space. Sow a green crop this month and cut to rot about 6 weeks before you plant (your green crop will take longer to break down in winter) or cover with compost, well rotted manure and/ or pea hay. Do the same for any other bare ground, and you’ll benefit from easy planting in the spring. Nows also a good time to start collecting leaves for composting.