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!
Lift any parsnips still remaining in the ground, and eat them up now. They won’t last any longer.
Winter lettuces sown last September and overwintered in cold frames or under cloches should be ready to start harvesting now.
Hardy, early varieties of purple sprouting broccoli should have overwintered from sowings the preceding summer and be ready for picking now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finish harvesting endive you’ve been overwintering in frames or under cloches. You’ll need the covers for this year’s new plants.
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.
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.
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.
Aim to lift the last of any remaining celeriac this month.
Text and photographs copyright © 2010 Alan Buckingham.