<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today click here

Gardening Coach: the time for growing vegetables is now

PUBLISHED: 11:43 06 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 March 2017

Dreaming of a bumper veg box?

Dreaming of a bumper veg box?


Dreaming of a bumper veg plot this summer? Get planning and preparing now, says Judy Shardlow, Herts-based RHS award-winning garden designer and coach

March is a great month to get some planning done for the coming year. If you’re dreaming of a vegetable garden bursting with tasty and colourful produce, then buying seeds for the year ahead begins now. One of the plants that I’ll be growing is Spaghetti Squash, it’s delicious roasted with other root vegetables and chorizo. The squash fruits grow from the sprawling vine that covers the soil and is ideal for partnering with sweetcorn F1 Sundance, an early maturing variety suited to our variable British summers.

I’ll be edging my raised vegetable beds with pretty purple dwarf French beans Purple Queen, which has beautiful purple flowers as well as pods. I also can’t resist growing yellow courgettes like F1 Goldmine or beautiful beetroot Rainbow Mix, which has deep red, bullseye pink, yellow and white beetroots that add gorgeous colour when grated raw into summer salads. Last year I also tried trailing outdoor tomato varieties Tumbling Tom in red and yellow that were laden with sweet cherry-sized fruit in September and which I’ll definitely be growing again this year.

Many vegetables are best started off indoors before planting outside, so spend the time now buying vegetable seeds, seed trays, compost and cold frames and digging over beds for planting out.

Five things to do in the garden this month

(1) Chit potatoes

Delicious potato Cara can be planted from March and has great slug and drought resistance.

(2) Marvellous mulching

Mulching borders with a thick layer of garden compost, well-rotted horse manure or spent mushroom compost will add nutrients and good bacteria to the soil and help retain moisture during summer months.

(3) Sow cosmos

The daisy-shaped flowers of cosmos will flower all summer. Try lovely crimson and pink cosmos bipinnatus Antiquity.

(4) Plant aconites

Butter-yellow aconites can be planted ‘in the green’ now in rich soil beneath deciduous trees, but make sure they’re transplanted promptly and don’t dry out or they’ll fail to establish.

(5) Plant spring bulbs

Bulbs can be planted in spring too for late summer flowering. Try stunning architectural bulb eucomis Sparkling Burgundy.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Mon, 13:36

A grand refuge for French nuns to flee persecution and latterly a school and orphanage too, a former convent in Baldock has many tales to tell. Pat Bramley explores the history of the site, newly-converted into luxury homes

Read more
January 2018
Friday, January 5, 2018

During January and February, elusive little white signs of spring pop up around the county in the form of snowdrops. We have gathered some of the best places to go for a snowdrop walk in Hertfordshire

Read more
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It’s a tale of love, both for a building and a builder – Pat Bramley met the family who converted a Victorian church near Welwyn GC into a unique family home

Read more
December 2017
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hawk Interiors offers a truly bespoke service to create your dream kitchen, here’s how...

Read more
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Make new friends, get gardening tips, expand your horticultural knowledge and visit inspirational gardens, these are just some of the benefits of joining a local horticultural club

Read more
November 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

An Arts and Crafts home in Chorleywood plays a key role in a star-studded film set for release early next year. Pat Bramley met its proud long-term owner

Read more
November 2017
Thursday, October 19, 2017

See our breakdown of Herts’ districts and compare how much a square metre of land costs in your area. You might be surprised...

Read more
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

With meticulous attention to detail, luxury and class a new St Albans home is designed to be an ergonomic, future-proofed family home. At £6m, 53 The Park is the most expensive new build in the city

Read more
October 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

RHS Chelsea Gold medal winner Anne Godfrey of Hertford’s Daisy Roots nursery tells Philippa Pearson her must-have plants for late summer

Read more
September 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017

Inspired by the extravagance of gothic, a couple found the perfect place in Much Hadham to create a fantasy home. Pat Bramley visits

Read more
September 2017
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Job search in your local area

Local Business Directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search