This week the air temperature has risen and it finally feels as if the worst of the winter weather is behind us in France. Snowdrops, Daffodils, Tulips and Hemerocallis are all pushing through the soil and like them we can start to venture out into the garden. A word of warning however, it is only early March, and frost and maybe even a further skitterings of snow are still possible here in France, so don’t be too hasty to plant out seedlings, vegetables and overwintered plants.
There’s still plenty we can start to do in our French garden though, and I have my eyes firmly set on the greenhouse this weekend and vegetable seeds.
March is the ideal time to start off many vegetable seeds, if you don’t have a greenhouse or polytunnel, don’t worry a warm windowsill will do the trick.
Vegetables which need extra heat to germinate
Some vegetables require a bit of extra warmth to help them germinate. For best results these seeds should be sown in pots or trays in seed compost (terreau semis) and popped into a heated propagator. If you don’t have a heated propagator, place the trays or pots in a plastic bag on a warm, sunny windowsill until they start to germinate. The results won’t be as quick or as successful as in a heated propagator, but if this is your first time at growing vegetables from seed, you may not wish to purchase a heated propagator straightaway. Vegetable seeds which should be started this way include;
On Monday this week I started various seeds off in my heated propagator, and only 4 days later many have germinated.
Vegetables which do not need extra heat to germinate
There are many other vegetables which can be sown in March which do not need the extra warmth of a heated propagator to help them germinate. After being planted in pots or trays they do however still need to be kept in a greenhouse, polytunnel or on a warm windowsill, these include;
Courgette and other squash
Remember to keep a close eye on the weather forecast. If frost is due you may have to protect anything planted in your greenhouse or polytunnel, they’re not the warmest of places at night!
I’d love to hear what vegetable seeds you are sowing now, please use the comment box below.