Oh, March, so full of promise. So full of false starts. The minute John Humphrys says ‘Good morning, it’s the 1st of March,’ it’s all I can do to restrain myself from leaping out of bed and out into the garden with an armful of seed packets and broadcasting them beardy parable-like into the wind.
This would be silly. Most of them would sulk and rot in the cold soil. For spring is a temperamental animal. We want it so badly we conveniently forget it happens slowly, not overnight. One day it might be all sun, buzzy bees and blossom, the next you’d swear it was November with a Tupperware sky, relentless drizzle and night frost.
So I hide the back door key and, instead, settle for sowing aubergines, sweet peppers, tomatoes and basil in plug trays under my amazing grow light. You can simply sow on the windowsill, but if you can get hold of a grow light it is WELL WORTH it. The level of light at this time of year is still less than ideal and your seedlings will be lanky and stretched. Grow lights give them the best start and you’ll really see the difference.
Meanwhile, outside, you can plant your potatoes and onion sets, mulch your raspberries and other soft fruit and prune your gooseberries. That’s enough to be getting on with, surely?