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HiYour Vegetable Garden March Season Starter
March 03, 2012
Vegetable Garden Jobs For March
In this issue you will find tips for getting your vegetable garden ready for the coming season along with some vegetable plants you can sow now. At the end of this newsletter you'll discover some useful links for where to shop online for plants and seeds in the UK and USA - you can pick up some great deals.
So March is here and it's time for those final tweeks to get the vegetable garden ready for planting. Pick or remove the last of the autumn/winter crops and get ready for the spring/summer growing. If you haven't already done the 'heavy work' this may mean a little effort needs to be undertaken to make it ideal once again for cultivating all the varieties of veggies you are planning to grow this coming season.
Harvest any cold-weather plants that have finished producing. If there are some plants still flourishing, work around them.
Remove Debris from Winter Patch...
Remove any plant remains from around the winter plot - you know how lazy we get in winter, leaving pots and bits of fleece, netting and canes etc. lying about... not you! oops-sorry! ;0).
Stones and any other debris need to be raked off the garden plot. Any leaves can be raked up and placed in plastic bin bags to rot, most leaves can take a year or more to compost down so don't put it with your usual composting stuff. If you don't havse a compost pile - start one.
Choose the Vegetables to Grow...
At this point, you should decide which vegetables you are going to be growing for the season approaching. Some of the soil preparations may be affected, since not all vegetables need the same nutrients to thrive.
Till the soil until it is well broken up into a fine texture (this should really be done in the autumn/fall to let the frosts break the clods down). This can be done with hand tools or a tiller/cultivator. Break up the soil down to a level of about spades depth (the blade that is). There should be no clumps of soil left when you get finished, you're after a nice friable surface to the soil.
Digging needs to be done where veg has been grown on open ground as the soil will have been walked on and compacted. I'm not an advocate of digging as it destroys the soil structure (which walking on does too) so my favoured way is to grow in raised beds, 4 feet wide and any reasonable length - you don't want to walk a mile to get round to the other side... me! exaggerate! - never. This way you don't need to walk on the beds or dig and easily managed - sound tempting.
"You only have a small area or a patio," I hear you say. No problem as there are some fantastic containers out there now for growing vegetables in small spaces - click image to see more photos.
Now you are ready for the next step.
Add Nutrients to the Soil...
It is now time to add nutrients to your soil to refortify it for the next growing season. It might need more nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) as these are the main building blocks for plants and trace elements which as the name implies, are very important but needed in much smaller amounts. One easy way to do this is with compost. If you already do your own composting, then you know how beneficial it is for the soil.
Spread three to four inches of compost onto the soil and rake into the surface.
Make Rows - Or Not...
You can now make the rows in your garden - if your not using raised beds. This will neatly arrange the plants, and give you places to walk in between them. Now you are ready to sow the early season plants. Not all vegetables should be planted in March (depending on the weather) some should wait for April unless sown in a greenhouse.
Vegetables to Sow...
Some of the vegetables to sow in March are below:
Water and Mulch...
After planting your crops water thoroughly and don't let the soil dry out as germination will stop or be inhibited affecting future development of the plant.
When plants are tall enough, begin mulching around them to suppress weeds and conserve moisture.
Nurseries and garden centres are now supplying quite a variety of plug plants. If you have not heard this term - they're essentially young plants. If you don't need masses of plants this can be a much better way to go than sowing seed. Growing from seed has its tribulations but with young plants you chances of success or greatly increased.
After doing all this, it's time to enjoy watching the early crops grow. Make sure to water and weed as needed. Later when it gets warmer - it will!, there will be other varieties of vegetables to plant... but that's for another month.
Whether you want to grow from seed or purchase young plants - below are some useful contacts:
For the UK:
For the USA:
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