It feels like spring might be just around the corner, with nature waking up and new shoots and buds popping up all over the place.
March in the food growing calendar is an important month, It marks the end of winter and time to get busy sowing seeds for the up coming growing season. So, let’s have a look at how to eat seasonally and grow your own.
Growing your own
If you want to be able to harvest delicious home grown tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines this summer, then you need to be sowing seeds indoors in March. The season can be quite short in the UK climate so make sure these mediterranean vegetables have enough time to ripen, sowing early is better than late. It’s still too cold to sow outside but you can start them off on a warm, sunny windowsill.
Never sown seeds before? Don’t worry, it’s easy!
What you need:
- Potting compost
- Your chosen vegetable seeds
- Small pots or seed trays
How to do it:
- Fill your pots or seed tray with compost, press down so the soil is firm but not compacted
- Read the instructions on the seed packet but as a rule of thumb seeds should be shown at a depth of two times the width, or diameter, of the seed.
- Water the pots gently as it easy to displace small seeds. The soil should be damp, not soaked!
- Label your pots with the seed name and date.
- Place on a warm sunny windowsill and check regularly, keeping the soil moist.
- You should see small shoots in a couple of weeks.
- Once the seedlings are about 5 or 6 inches tall, you can harden them off in a sheltered space outside before planting them in the garden or in bigger pots.
- Enjoy the fruits of your labour in late summer!
What’s in season in March?
What are the best British fruit and vegetables at this time of year? You can find pretty much anything in our supermarkets all year round but you’ll find that eating vegetables that are in season are so much tastier. Ever bought tomatoes at this time of year hoping for the sweetness of summer but been disappointed? That’s because they’re not in season yet!
Vegetables that are at their best in March:
- Purple Sprouting Broccoli
- Spring or Winter Greens
- Spring Onions
So, what to make with all these lovely seasonal vegetables?
How about a lentil and beetroot salad? Beetroot is packed are a great source of fibre, vitamin B9, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C, and they’re delicious too! Combine with puy lentils, harissa paste and pumpkin seeds and you’ve got a really tasty, filling salad.
Kale makes a great side dish and can be steamed or roasted. Why not make it the main event with a kale & mushroom lasagne?
Winter greens add a peppery flavour to salads and can also be added to stir-fry dishes to give a lovely fresh taste.
Why not warm yourself up with a wholesome chicken and leek pie?
Remember, life is for cooking!