There's a great sense of pride that comes in being able to grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables. Knowing exactly what has gone into your food makes all the difference when it comes to plating-up.
At All Green Nursery and Garden, we know nothing beats the taste of home grown fruit and vegetables. It’s therapeutic to be able to pop outside and grab fresh ingredients for your meals - and while most of us associate planting with spring, there are some great additions to plant in your veggie patch in March.
Grown from a seed or seedling, planting sweet Basil in early March will bring you this delicious and peppery delight in time for winter's pasta and pesto sauce making. Delizioso! Basil loves a sunny spot in the garden or balcony, and good fertile soil.
Basil has a healthy appetite too. You can apply liquid Seasol reasonably frequently (not chicken manure though). Keep the soil moist with regular watering and add a layer of pea straw or sugar cane mulch on the top to help keep the moisture in.
Beetroot can be planted at various times of the year, except for the peak of winter. So add it to your seasonal fruit and vegetable planting list for March. The purple power of the beet is relatively easy to grow in a mix of full sun and part shade. There are a few different types:
- Derwent Globe
- Baby Beets
Each will grow well if you ensure it has fertile, well-drained soil, full of organic mulch and manures. Drainage is vital. If your soils are heavy or clay based, apply a thick layer of All Green Veggie Mix Soil on the top and consider putting them in raised beds.
Dig trenches about 2 cm deep, and set them around 5 cm apart. Once deeply embedded in Veggie Mix Soil, use a dynamic lifter for a slow and gentle release of nutrients.
Feeding your beetroot well with Seasol fertiliser and keeping the soil moist once they sprout (about two weeks) will get you fast growing and tasty beetroots.
When you can see the beetroot crown peeking out the soil, they are ready for harvest.
Planting this tasty dish topper between March to May will get you the best results. Full sun is suitable as long as it’s not searingly hot. It will get the best start when grown from a seedling, and they make a great companion plant as the smell tends to repel plant pests.
Coriander will do well in your vegetable patch or solo in a pot. It doesn’t tend to need lots of fertilising as long as a good quality, nutrient-rich soil is used with some compost on the top to keep moisture in.
Check on the soil moisture levels regularly as when it becomes too dry, this will make coriander bolt (go to flower and seed because it thinks it might die).
Wait until the stems are at least 20 centimetres high before chopping them off for your dishes. The entire stem can be used and eaten.
Lettuce is an actual member of the seasonal fruit and vegetable family. Leafy vegetable lovers can plant this nutritious and hardy salad foundation to feast on all year round.
Soil preparation is critical before you put those lettuce seedlings in the ground. Two weeks before planting prepare a well-drained garden bed filled (in part shade) with soil and crumbly compost. Add a dash of manure-based fertiliser and top and about a 5 cm layer of quality mulch.
Lettuce grows lush, tasty and salad ready when they are grown fast. This means regular feeding and watering. A quick and fast growth means less need for fertiliser too which is better for the taste and environmental impacts on soil. Different lettuces have different growth times so check the label on the variety you choose.
Snails are lettuce lovers too and can wreak havoc. Coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, lime, wood ash, and sawdust scattered around are great natural ways to deter them.