UK Oak Doors DIY Calendar: March

By March, the weather should be getting better, and you're probably wishing that you could spend some time outside.  This month is a great time to start working on your garden, and you can show off your green fingers (and prepare for a chance to show off your cooking skills) by starting a small vegetable garden.

Vegetable Seedlings in Jiffy Pots. Vegetable Seedlings in Jiffy Pots. Photo: Doug Beckers

Even if you have limited space in your yard, there are a few things that you should be able to grow at home:

Vegetables for the Garden

If you're lucky enough to have a decent-sized garden, then there are several vegetables that you can grow at home.  This month is a good time to plant the following vegetables:

  • Beetroot
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Radish
  • Parsnips
  • Early Turnips

If you have a greenhouse, then you can add tomatoes peppers and cucumbers to that list.

Tomatoes Tomatoes in the Green Houses at Arley Hall, Cheshire. Photo: Luke Addison

Take the time to put together a gardening calendar so that you know which plants will need looked after, and when.  If you plan your crops well you can have something growing almost year-round!

Window Box Vegetables

If you have limited space, then you don't have to miss out on gardening.  There are many vegetables that grow well in a window box.  You will need to fill your window box with some good compost, some water-holding gel (to ensure that the plants don't dry out), some bubble wrap, and some gravel to use as drainage material.

Vegetables that do well in a window box include:

  • Short rooted carrots such as Kundulus and Parmex
  • Runner beans (dwarf varieties)
  • Spring onions
  • Parsnips (if your window box is deeper than six inches)
  • Loose-leaf lettuce

You should take your time when preparing the window box.  Line the box with bubble wrap, then add a layer of gravel. Mix some compost and water-holding gel together, and fill the window box until the compost is a couple of inches away from the lip of the box.  Gently flatten the mix out with your fingers, and then top up the soil until the box is almost full.  Water this soil well, and leave it to sit overnight so that the soil has a chance to settle.  Once this is done you can plant your vegetables.

Get The Family Involved

Gardening is something that the whole family can get involved with.  Consider giving older children a small section of the garden that they can care for themselves.  Younger children may not want the responsibility of having a full garden of their own, but they could still have a lot of fun with their own mini "window box".  Cress is incredibly easy to grow, and can usually be eaten around a week after it is planted.  This gives children the chance to see the results of their work quite quickly, rather than having to wait a few months before they can take it out of the ground.

If your family does find that they enjoy gardening, then you can rotate different crops throughout the year, enjoying fresh, tasty home grown vegetables (and their associated cooking projects) as the year goes on.

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