My seed potatoes have arrived so it’s time to start chitting….some of my onions have also turned up so they need a bit of a sort too before I settle down to watch the birds for the RSPB Big Garden Bird-watch…….during which my mind wanders to the subject of organic seeds…..
The last seeds of the year need to go into the ground which means harvesting the main-crop potatoes to make some space. It is also time to start rejigging the beds into their new, permanent positions……..which means a bit of hard work digging out the old paths.
Last month we were under starter’s orders……this month the tape is finally up and we’re off! But still at a sedately pace.
I love March in the kitchen garden as it’s the month when I finally start sowing seed in earnest and get back onto the soil after what feels like the longest time. It is still far too cold in my garden to be sowing anything outdoors but indoors I will be starting my tomatoes, celery and leeks in the second week and, towards the end of the month, I’ll start the squash and cucumbers. The window sills will be heaving under trays full of little paper pots…..and I shall bound out of bed each morning to see what, if anything, has germinated and I’ll squeal with delight at every little head that pops up.
The real work, though, will be happening on the soil; a busy month when I’ll be harvesting all the last of the winter crops…..carrots, parsnips and the brasicas…..they’ll come home and be processed for storing (mostly in the freezer). Once the beds are clear of veg I’ll start adding fertiliser, digging trenches, sifting soil and raising mounds. The grass paths will get their first trim of the year. I’ll mark out the beds with sticks to remind myself where to sow according to the plan I made over winter. If I had been able to get the green manure in last autumn it would be getting dug in now too.
It is tradition to get the potatoes in on St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March – I’ve never been organised enough to do it on this date until this year – so we’ll see if I get a better yield for getting them in earlier. They have been chitting away for the last four weeks and have lovely, short, sturdy chits on them. Don’t worry if yours aren’t ready – I have sown mine as late as early May and still had good results.
And if we get some decent sunny days the shed will get a lick of top coat….and maybe a tidy.
Happy March soil time and seed sowing.