Step AWAY from the Propagator!

Yes, you!  You know who are. You’ve sowed those seeds and now you can’t help yourself. You peer into the propagator every few hours searching for just the tiniest sign of life. Is that your imagination or is there something breaking through the soil? You’re tempted to rummage around in the compost – just disturb it a little to see what’s going on. Don’t do it! Roots grow before shoots. Who knows what untold damage you might do? I can totally relate to the temptation. It’s an exciting prospect. A germinated seed is filled with anticipation for the months to come. It reminds you of the burgeoning colour, texture, form, vibrancy, fruitfulness and life coming to your garden. It tells you there will be plans to make and work to do before you can enjoy the deliciousness it will produce for you. And now we’re in the month where we can really indulge ourselves as we get things going.

Roots before shoots – photo by

You can sow beetroot, carrots, cucumbers, lettuces, oriental leaves, summer radishes, salad leaves, parsnips and turnips all outdoors under cover, if you have been able to warm up the soil with a cloche. If you haven’t been able to warm up the soil then it’s best to wait a few more weeks as it’s still pretty cold and wet out there! Plant your potatoes by the end of the month and it’s the last chance to plant shallot sets-if you haven’t already got them sprouting in a greenhouse. The latest time to plant onion sets is in April. If you have space and patience to grow asparagus, you can plant the ‘crowns’ now. You can still plant fruit bushes such as blackberry, gooseberry, raspberries, strawberries and currants. You could even find a last- minute home for the apple and pear tree.

And, the excitement’s not over! There are so many goodies you can sow indoors;

broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, aubergine, celeriac, celery, cucumbers, chillies, peppers, Florence fennel, herbs, kohl rabi, lettuce, tomato, globe artichoke, oriental greens, beans, peas, spinach, leeks, swiss chard, spring onion, rocket, purslane, pumpkin, courgette, radish, squashes and melon. And we haven’t even thought about the flowers we can start! Lobelia, dahlia, calendula to name but a very few.

Other jobs for March include; applying feed to your growing area, ‘top dressing’ pot plants (scrapping away about an inch of the compost from around your plant and replacing it with fresh potting compost), cutting back autumn fruiting raspberries to make way for this years fruit, feed and mulch established fruit trees and bushes, erect bean and pea supports for your early crops and continue to work on your plans for succession sowing to elongate your crops and harvests.

Happy sowing everyone!

Published by the back door gardener

Passionate about growing food in any space and about teaching others to do the same. I'm trying to start a backdoor revolution - no allotment needed. I've fed myself from my garden for over 10 years; only needing to buy some emergency parsnips for Christmas several years ago.

6 thoughts on “Step AWAY from the Propagator!

  1. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I read your headline! What a way to start your blog, I just had to continue reading! brilliant, as ever. XXX

  2. OOOH my, My beloved and I are thinking almost exactly the same!!! Oh what a surprise – well we are One!!
    As I read ”YES! YOU! ” I could almost see and hear you towering over me as I bent down and remonstrating!!
    As always love your blogs. Girt big ‘ugs

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: