Marching vegetables

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Pepper seedlings

March is often cold and wet, but March sees the start of spring and it is time to ramp up sowing of seeds if the conditions are right and the soil is not too wet. However if the soil is waterlogged and the weather is cold, later sowing will catch up.

There’s nothing quite like the flavour of freshly picked peas. If sowing early, consider frost protection with garden fleece or newspaper at night. Successional sowing will ensure a continuous supply of fresh peas. Start by planting an early variety such as Early Onward or a hardy dwarf variety Meteor, follow on by planting main crop Hurst Green Shaft and Kelvedon Wonder.

Another vegetable worth sowing in March is the turnip which grows best in cool, moisture retentive soil. When the plants are established thin them out to 4in apart. Turnips can be ready for harvesting in as little as 10 weeks. You can also sow early varieties of carrots, beetroot and parsnips.

Peppers are easy to grow. Plant the seeds in a tray in a greenhouse or window sill. The plants do best in a greenhouse but they will produce a good crop if grown outdoors in a sunny position. I find them easy to manage. I grow a sweet pepper California Wonder that produces thick walled red and green peppers. Alternatively, try growing hot chilli peppers.

Image Credits: Dennis Leeds George .

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