Royal Paddocks Allotments website masthead
Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

Introducing
The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

Watch the seasons unfold right here at our very own allotments

Click for the blog.

email icon

Any comments, ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the website? Please email us.

Swiss chard

This month you should be picking the first of the year’s Swiss chard and spinach beet. All being well, it will have overwintered from seeds sown last summer.

Chard is extremely hardy and, although it might prefer to be under a cloche when the weather turns harsh, it’s a survivor!

Chard is extremely hardy and, although it might prefer to be under a cloche when the weather turns harsh, it’s a survivor!

Parsnips

Lift any parsnips still remaining in the ground, and eat them up now. They won’t last any longer.

Lettuces

Winter lettuces sown last September and overwintered in cold frames or under cloches should be ready to start harvesting now.

Sprouting broccoli

Hardy, early varieties of purple sprouting broccoli should have overwintered from sowings the preceding summer and be ready for picking now.

Spring cauliflowers

Provided they have survived any severe frosts or very cold weather, hardy, overwintering spring cauliflowers planted out towards the end of last summer should be ready to harvest.

Leeks

Though they may be starting to look a little tatty after a whole winter outdoors, you should still be able to harvest leeks – both this month and next. Trim, clean, and use them as soon as you lift them.

Kale

One of the hardiest vegetables of all, kale will survive most winters to provide you with fresh green leaves right through to this month and next. What’s more, varieties such as ‘Redbor’ also have highly attractive, curly, pink-tinged foliage.

Brussels sprouts

Late varieties should last until this month. Towards the end of the season, the leaves at the top of the stems – called “sprout tops” – can be can cooked and eaten as spring greens.

The last of the season’s Brussels sprouts hanging on against all odds.

The last of the season’s Brussels sprouts hanging on against all odds.

Rhubarb

March generally marks the start of the season for rhubarb – though you may have already picked some early, blanched stems if you’ve been forcing them under cover.

Corn salad

Also known as lamb’s lettuce, corn salad will crop throughout the year although except in very mild climates it does need protecting with cloches or frames in the winter months.

Endive

Finish harvesting endive you’ve been overwintering in frames or under cloches. You’ll need the covers for this year’s new plants.

Spring cabbages

March is usually the last month for winter cabbages and the first for spring cabbages. Pick spring varieties while the leaves are still loose, before they form into dense heads.

Spring onions

Your first spring onions of the year should be ready for lifting now if you sowed seeds last August or September and left the seedlings to overwinter.

Chicory

Make the most of your forced “chicons” of Belgian or Witloof chicory. This month is probably the last chance you’ll have to harvest them until next year.

Celeriac

Aim to lift the last of any remaining celeriac this month.

Vegetables

Brussels sprouts

Cabbages

Cauliflowers

Celeriac

Kale

Leeks

Parsnips

Rhubarb

Sprouting broccoli

Swiss chard

 

Salads

Chicory

Corn salad

Endive

Lettuces

Spring onions

 

 

 

Text and photographs copyright © 2010 Alan Buckingham.

 

Allotment month by month by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Allotment Month by Month
(Dorling Kindersley, 2009)
Grow Vegetables by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Grow Vegetables
(Dorling Kindersley, 2007)
Grow Fruit by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Grow Fruit
(Dorling Kindersley, 2010)