CHRISTMAS OFFER 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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The property is in the village of Benington near Stevenage

Read more
November 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A ready-to-move-in house is the last thing this Bishop’s Stortford couple want. Serial renovators, they’ve had the vision to take on three tired homes, including this latest project, and make them into something remarkable

Read more
November 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Listed for its architectural and historical importance, this mansion is for sale through Strutt and Parker

Read more
November 2018
Monday, October 8, 2018

A 16th century farmhouse gave a father and daughter the chance to both fulfil childhood dreams

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nine bedroom Georgian country house for sale

Read more
September 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ten years in the making, this remarkable home in the former orchard of St Albans Cathedral is as bespoke as a property can be. It had Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reeling

Read more
September 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to tackle one of the most invasive plant species in the UK has resulted in innovative solutions, writes Charlotte Hussey of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Read more
August 2018

Owned by the same family for generations on the historic Moor Place estate at Much Hadham, Yew Tree House and its current remarkable owner are full of stories

Read more
August 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search