Vegetable seeds to sow in March – what you should start planting now

Alan Titchmarsh gives advice on storing vegetables in 2013

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Vegetable fans only have a small window in which to plant their seeds. Even the hardiest shrubs need conducive conditions for growth, and these tend to emerge in the spring. Although the time frame is limited, gardeners will have a variety of seeds they can plant in the coming weeks.

Which vegetable seeds can you plant in March?

March is the first opportunity people will have to realise their home growing plans.

The official start of spring sees humidity rise for the first time in months, with more sun and rain showers.

Together, these conditions provide food and water and give some seeds a helping hand towards an all-important summer harvest.

There are dozens of seeds you can plant during this time and Express has rounded them up for you.

Broad beans

Gardeners can harvest a broad bean crop in the early summer after sowing their seeds in February and March.

The beans take 15 weeks to grow from their ideal planting times and develop best under glass.

The earliest opportunity to harvest is in May, with June and July also ideal months.

Aubergines, chillies and tomatoes

Aubergines, chillies and tomatoes are pickier growers that need longer to develop than other vegetables.

Ideal sowing times for each one fall between January and April, as they need months to reach full size.

July is the earliest opportunity to harvest all three in the UK, and September the latest.

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Beetroot

March is the earliest time people can sow beetroot seeds in the UK.

Gardeners can plant them out in May or June at the latest, but seeds will take roughly five months to develop.

The earliest harvest opportunity is in July and the latest in September.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is by far the most flexible vegetable on this list.

Dedicated gardeners will have had their first chance to harvest over the last two months.

They can plant as they harvest between March and July before the harvest-only months from August to November.

Lettuce

Lettuce and other salads benefit from early spring sowing, but people will have a much wider window to plant than other vegetables.

People can sow or plant out between March and September, with the earliest harvest in May.

Salads have two harvest only months in October and November.

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