Looking forward to March? We’ve noticed a flurry of activity in the local allotment as soon as there’s a bit of warmth from the sun. This and the longer days encourage us to home-grow. Being surrounded by fellow growers is truly infectious.
Tempting as planting is, we’ve just come out of a cold spell so depending on the greenhouse is still important to fall back on if you are keen to sow now. Patience is a virtue that every seasoned grower is aware of so hold back on planting outdoors for the moment and enjoy the comfort of gardening indoors instead and plan for your main outdoor planting session in April and May.
The Marshalls Team
Our top three jobs for the month
Make buying asparagus from the supermarket a thing of the past by growing asparagus on your own plot. Enjoy delicious asparagus spears for your kitchen without paying over the odds at the shops by planting asparagus crowns with Marshalls.
If it’s been a cold February carry on chitting in March until spring starts in earnest. To re-cap from February put the wrinkly pre-planting potatoes in an egg carton and leave them in a cool, light position for a few weeks. This makes the stem bases on the potatoes stout and robust for productive plants and great harvests.
Sow seeds of tomatoes and peppers indoors in a propagator or pots covered with polythene bags. Both these crops have seeds of similar size (they are in the same plant family) and we recommend you sow thinly in a seed tray of sow five seeds to every small pot and pot on once germinated.
From mulching to pruning, the best of indoor jobs and preparing for success see expert information. Your asparagus deserves your attention at this time of year and some greenhouse-cleaning on a rainy day will put you in good stead for a pest and disease-free year. See our complete lists of jobs for March
Make 2018 the year you grow the juiciest of cherry tomatoes, the sweetest of salad tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes with the fullest of flavour. If you’re keen to exercise your green fingers then sow tomato seeds indoors now and pot on the seedlings to larger pots in a few weeks before transferring to their final position from late April to May.
Tomato Sweet Success - Cherry on top
Tomato Gardening Delight - Sweeten your salad
Tomato Corazon - Big on flavour
Blue cheese and tomato ciabattas
- 1 x ciabatta loaf
- Olive oil
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Stilton cheese or other blue varieties
- Basil leaves
- Sea salt
- Cut a ciabatta loaf into thick slices. Toast or warm if you prefer hot bread
- Drizzle olive oil over the slices of ciabatta generously
- Place a layer of sliced tomato over the ciabatta
- Season with salt and pepper
- Place a thick slice of blue cheese over the tomato
- Place basil leaf as the final layer over the blue cheese
- Season again if desired for a fresh and delicious starter
Watch out for pests and diseases
Slugs come out in force as soon as the weather warms up. If it’s damp too they’ll make an all too frequent appearance and soon get to work on munching on young green growth including your crops. Armed with thousands of teeth it’s not long before there are bite marks in young plants.
Nip the problem in the bud by applying Nemasys- safe for pets and people this is the natural nematode control for the on-coming army of slugs. Water in the anti-slug solution around your growing crops and let the nematodes within keep your slug populations down.
Celebrate our 70th birthday with us by taking advantage of collections we’ve selected, particularly appealing to home-growers from heritage strawberries marking important events in the British calendar over the past decades to potatoes that are disease-resistant and bred to suit our British climate there’s lots to choose in our up-coming March catalogue.