Anna's March Garden Journal

Edible Garden Ideas and Tips for March

There is change in the air; the mornings are fresh, dewy and darker, as are the evenings. The shift to the beautiful season of autumn has begun.

March is a busy month in the garden, with lots of harvesting happening and a month where we look at starting to tidy and feed the garden for autumn. This month can feel overwhelming.  My tip for combating this month is to focus on getting more plants in the ground to help ensure you are growing more of your own food. We can focus on the maintenance aspect later, once the growing season is slowing.

I am harvesting my espalier apples, peaches, the first of the passionfruit and autumn raspberries. I can’t recommend enough if you do purchase a raspberry cane, look for a variety that produces fruit early summer and again in autumn.

 In this issue:

  • Keep on planting for late autumn harvest
  • Start sowing for winter
  • Fruit you can harvest & still ripens once picked.
  • Collect seeds from your own goodness

Edible Garden ideas on what to plant this month

In order to stock up for winter, every other week I have been planting a few seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale and my favourite of the Swiss chards “Bright Lights”. These gorgeous stems come in vibrant colours of yellow, pink and crimson. Pops of colours bring joy in the cooler months.

Some other good winter greens that can be sown that I love for the colder months are Miner’s Lettuce and corn salad. If you haven’t tried them, grab a packet of seeds and give them a go. Miner’s Lettuce is packed with Vitamin C and really versatile as it can be used in salads, stirfries, steaming and sautéing.

Late autumn harvest of fennel, green tomatoes, kale

Edible Garden ideas on what to plant this month for late Autumn harvesting

A staple in our house that we all eat are salad leaves. One idea to keep salad supplies up during autumn months, especially if you live in a cooler climate, is potting up a mix of lettuce seedlings. Choose a cute pot – I use an old preserving pan – and when its starts to get cool, you can easily bring it inside to a sunny spot.

Often at this time of year, basil is in plentiful supply. If you love it as much as I do, keep picking the basil leaves and the flowers so the plant keeps producing more leaves for as long as possible. The flowers are gorgeous and look divine thrown in a cute jar or bottle.

If you have a surplus, turn your basil into pesto, and freeze in ice cubes that can be whipped out and used in the cooler months.

Fruit you can harvest & still ripens once picked

Fruits that will still ripen once picked include most of the stone fruits, such as peaches , apricots,  plums and nectarines. Other fruit includes, bananas, avocados, apples, pears and tomatoes. This is helpful if you want to harvest the fruit before our friendly birdlife get to them.

Collect seeds from your own garden goodness

Try collecting the seeds from some for you own plentiful plants.  You can easily try this with green beans, broad beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins.

The key to success is:

  • Ensure the plants are nice ‘n’ healthy
  • Harvest on a dry day, when the seeds are mature
  • If the seeds are in a pod make sure the pods are dry and brown prior to harvest
  • Dry the seeds really well
  • Store in a paper envelope
  • Most importantly, don’t forget to label them

 Until next month …

Anna xxx