Start plants from seeds

It’s our favorite time of year again, spring is here! This marks the start of prime time gardening season as the weather begins to warm up.

Now’s the perfect time to put on some gardening gloves and repot indoor plants or start fresh with new seeds outdoors. Either way, March is the time to get a head start on rejuvenating your outdoor garden to ensure your harvest is ready by mid-spring or early-summer.

Beets

Healthy and delicious, the best time to plant beets is right now. They’ll harvest quickly, leaving us with an early summer treat. Plus, beets are known to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and they’re rich in nutrients and fiber.

Broccoli

One of our favorite greens, broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Fiber and Folate. This cool-weather crop can germinate in soil with temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep the soil wet, though, because this plant is thirsty.

Cabbage

Whether leafy green or perfectly purple, this annual vegetable is perfect for colder temperatures. Pests love Cabbage, so be sure to keep an eye on it. Try using natural repellant methods instead of harmful chemicals to keep your cabbage healthy and safe.

Carrots

Why plant orange carrots when you can choose from the entire rainbow? Choose from purple, black, red, white or yellow. Not only are they good for eyesight, carrots are also one of the best plants for reducing the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

Lettuce

This true cool-weather plant is actually stunted by hot temperatures. Perfect for early spring gardens, lettuce requires light watering since its leaves will develop quickly. And, don’t forget to use organic mulch to conserve water. Once true leaves grow, it is time to harvest the crop before it becomes bitter and tough.

Spinach

Perfect for salads and sides, spinach loves the spring weather. This green is extremely sensitive to excessive heat. Spinach is fast-growing, forming flowers and developing seeds in no time at all.

Onions

Onions have disease fighting power and high nutritional value, making them one of the healthiest vegetables to eat. Onions can endure all of the hardships that come with early spring weather. Note that this crop will not be as fruitful if temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peas

Sweet peas, snow peas and snap peas are perfect for planting in March. They’re easy to grow and so delicious.

Give seeds a boost this spring by using Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus!

The last average frost date for south coastal British Columbia is March 28. This is a handy reference point for all your garden planning. Basically, this is the month gardeners in this region must use to get ready to take full advantage of the growing season ahead.

Below is a list of seeds to start in March. By starting your seeds in March, they will be ready for transplanting into the garden by the time the nighttime temperatures have warmed up in May. Other seeds actually benefit from cool weather and the risk of frost, and they are shown below for direct sowing in March.

If you live outside of south coastal British Columbia, you can use still make use of this reference. Simply think of it as a list of the seeds to start two to four weeks before your last average frost date.

Click on the links below for full planting instructions.

For starting indoors:

Agastache
Alyssum
Asclepias
Asparagus
Bergamot
Broccoli
Cabbage
Catnip
Cauliflower
Celery & Celeriac
Chives
Chrysanthemum
Columbine
Coreopsis
Cynoglossum
Delphinium
Echinacea
Florence Fennel (bulbing fennel)
Gaillardia
Gaura
Hollyhocks
Iberis
Leeks
Lettuce
Lobelia
Lovage
Marigolds
Marjoram
Mint
Morning Glory
Nemophila
Nicotiana
Onions
Oregano
Peppers
Physalis
Rosemary
Rudbeckia
Sage
Thyme
Tithonia
Tomatoes (March 15th is ideal, transplant end of May/early June)
Verbena
Viola
Yarrow

Seeds to direct sow in March:

Ammi
Arugula
Broad Beans
Calendula
California Poppies
Celosia
Corn Salad
Cornflowers
Cosmos
Gypsophila
Kale & Collards
Lavatera (late in the month)
Lavender
Lunaria
Lupins
Marigolds
Pac Choi & Mustard Greens
Peas
Poppies
Radishes
Scabiosa
Spinach
Sweet Peas
Wallflowers
Wildflower Mixes (March is the best time for these!)

These are recommendations for South Coastal BC, the Gulf Islands & Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and West of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon. If you live outside of these regions, please have a look at our Regional Planting Charts – you can download them for free as pdf files for easy reference.

Vegetable seeds to sow in March

There are lots of vegetable crops that can be sown in March, when the days are beginning to lengthen and become warmer.

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Some crops, such as chillies and tomatoes, need to be sown early in the year in order to give them the long growing season that they need. Others, such as fast-growing beetroot and salads can be started off early so that you can enjoy them in late spring and early summer – keep sowing them to extend the harvest.

Tender crops like aubergines need to be sown under glass, either in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill. Hardier crops like beetroot and broad beans can be sown directly into the ground outdoors; do not sow if the ground is frosty or covered in snow.

Find out which crops you can sow in March, below.

Aubergines, chillies and tomatoes

In the unpredictable British climate, tomatoes, chillies and aubergines need a long growing season in order to produce a good crop – so start them off early. Sow under glass for the best results.

  • How to grow aubergines
  • How to grow chillies
  • How to grow tomatoes

Broad beans

Broad beans are a welcome crop in early summer, and can be sown outdoors in March. Watch out for blackfly as the plants grow – pinch out the growing tip, where they congregate.

Beetroot

Beetroot will germinate in low temperatures, so can be sown direct outdoors in March. Harvest when the beets have reached golf ball size.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is a beautiful crop for a sunny or partially shaded spot. Sow direct outside from March onwards. Discover how to grow Swiss chard.

Salad

Start sowing salads from March onwards, and you’ll be enjoying tasty leaves for months to come. In March, they are best sown indoors.

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How to grow salad leaves

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