The glorious early days of spring – light, bright and filled with hope and promise, send many of us rushing outside to begin sowing and planting.
I relish the opportunities presented at this time of year, however as there are so many different things I could grow and space is limited I have to choose carefully. I want to use the space available to best effect whilst expanding my horizons. So I tend to stick to my favourites that I know work plus a few new things to try out.
To increase my stock of my favourite perennial vegetables I will be sowing and growing:
• Seeds of skirret, scorzonera, Welsh onion, bunching onions, dahlia, wild rocket, leaf beet, asparagus, earth nut pea and a selection of kales including nine star perennial broccoli, red Russian kale, wild cabbage, walking stick kale and trouve Tronchuda.
• Tubers saved over the winter of oca, mashua, Jerusalem artichoke, ground nut (apios americana), yacon and dahlia.
I always like to experiment with new things as well so I will be finding room to squeeze in some experimental grains – mixed amaranths and quinoa and also herbs for seed production – cumin, coriander, fennel and nigella.
The tubers will be planted up in pots in March and kept out of the frost until they can be safely planted outside.
I am likely to defer sowing vegetable, herb and grain seeds until early April or later. In many previous years I have eagerly sown seed from the first week of March only to find out that they took up to a month to germinate. Later sowings made in April quickly caught up or overtook.
Even though we have had a warm start to March, I plan to stick to this schedule as nobody can be sure what will come next weather wise.
Anni Kelsey is the author of Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces out now! Buy now from our shopping site.
A great way to start of seeds: Making a hotbed in your polytunnel