What to plant in March – the flowers, fruit and vegetables experts recommend sowing this month

Your March planting guide

A greenhouse with plants and storing garden tools
(Image credit: Alamy)

Summer is slowly on its way, the sun is not due to set before 5.30pm from now until the end of October. With this great news comes a whole new list of what to plant in March from flowers to fruits and vegetables. 

March is very much the kick-off season for growing your own. Now is the time to be learning how to sow seeds and consider if you want to try to plant summer bulbs in your garden for a spot of colours. 

Most of our gardens will be starting to fill with the colour of spring bulbs this month, but if you want those colourful blooms to follow you right into the summer months you'll need to get planting. We've rounded up tips from experts for what to plant in March so you can get planning.

What to plant in March

Learning to grow your own fruit and vegetables, which is a job that begins in March.  Still, it's just as vital to take the time now to plan out your garden borders and flower bed ideas, too – especially as there are many summer flowers that you can start undercover in your greenhouse now.

'As colour and bird song return to the garden and spring bulbs fill gardeners hearts with joy, March has to be one of the most hopeful months of the year. The countdown to longer days and lighter evenings begins, windowsills become full of seed trays, newly sprouted seedlings and we all start marching forwards into the growing season,' promises Morris Hankinson, director of Hopes Grove Nurseries.

A greenhouse with plants and storing garden tools

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'March is a busy month in the garden,' he continues wisely, 'so having a plan can be helpful, even if that's just a list of seeds you want to sow and all the pots and compost you need for potting on.'

Still, even though there is plenty to be doing, it's still important to be wary of protecting your plants from frosts. 'Don't worry too much if it's too cold right now,' says Morris. 'There is still plenty of time to sow and grow.'

Best fruit and vegetables to sow in March

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables worth sowing in March, many of them are some of the easiest vegetables to grow too.

'It’s a big month for sowing vegetable seeds, including broad beans, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, lettuces, radish, peas, spinach, summer brassicas, salad leaves, leeks, chard, kohl rabi and turnips,' says Morris. 

'Try sowing these in modules or trays in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill, or some can be sown directly in the ground later in the month and given protection with horticultural fleece, a grow tunnel or cloche.'

As well as the above, it's also time to turn your attention to the following crops:

1. Potatoes

Potatoes in a bucket that have been picked from an allotment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's time to add 'learning how to grow potatoes in bags' to your to-do list, as tatties rule supreme on our list of what to plant in March.

'Spud lovers will be pleased to know that you can start planting your first earlies in late March – and chitted potatoes can be sown at the beginning of the month, too,' says Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors at Gardens Revived.

Where to buy first early potatoes:

  • Thompson & Morgan: plenty of first early potatoes to choose from, although the Potato 'Swift' is by far the fastest maturing tatty in the range.
  • Crocus: a tasty selection of first earlies (try the Potato 'Rocket' for a more disease-resistant crop)

2. Tomatoes

Tomato plant in terracotta pot in a greenhouse at Chelsea Flower Show.

(Image credit: Future PLC/Heather Young)

If you're already dreaming of bruschetta and rich red sauces, you'll be pleased to know that March is an excellent time to learn how to grow tomatoes – whether in pots, learning how to grow tomatoes in grow bags, or directly in the soil itself.

'To give your tomato plants a head start and shield them from the unpredictable weather conditions, you should sow your tomato seeds in the greenhouse in early March,' advises Nelly Hall, brand director at bespoke greenhouse manufacturer Alitex

Noting you should opt for early maturing tomato varieties that can withstand cooler temperatures such as Sungold, Gardener's Delight, Black Opal, or Geronimo, she advises you fill seed trays or individual module trays for easier potting on, with a rich, well-draining potting soil, and sow seeds half an inch deep and one inch apart. 

'Top them with a thin layer of vermiculite, water thoroughly, and place in a heated propagator until they're ready to plant out.'

Where to buy tomato seeds:

3. Asparagus

Asparagus growing in a vegetable garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You read that correctly, everyone: asparagus – prized for its tender and delicate flavour in restaurants and home kitchens alike – is on our list of what to plant in March, too!

'Asparagus is one the most sought after vegetables on an allotment so if you have space to grow them, March is a good time to plant the crowns,' says Morris. 

'You won’t be able to harvest for a year or two but they are worth the wait.'

Where to buy asparagus crowns:

4. Chillies

Chilli plant growing in a greenhouse

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spice fans, take note: now is the perfect time to learn how to grow chillis in pots, because, yes, they're often lauded as one of the very best things to plant in March.

'March is an excellent time to start planting chillies as it gives them enough time to mature before the end of summer,' says Nelly. 

'There are many chilli pepper seeds to choose from, each with unique flavours, heat levels, and colours so whether you prefer a mild taste or a fiery hot sensation, there is a variety for every preference!'

If you're keen to get started, she suggests you fill some small pots with a good quality potting mix, water well and place just one chilli seed just below the surface of the soil. 

'Then, place the seeds in a heated propagator at a temperature of 18-25°C to aid with germination. After seven to ten days, the seeds will start to sprout, and you can move them to a heated greenhouse.'

As well as watering the seeds well, Nelly adds that you must 'remember to label the seeds too, especially if you are planting different types of chillies with varying levels of spiciness, to avoid any unexpected surprises!'

Where to buy chilli seeds:

  • Thompson & Morgan: a wide selection of chilli seeds
  • Crocus: lots of different chilli seeds, ranging from mild to sizzling

5. Alpine strawberries

Alpine strawberries (also known as wild strawberries) growing outdoors

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another great fruit to plant in March, now is absolutely the time to try your hand at alpine strawberries – also known as wild strawberries.

'These little beauties work just as well scattered in garden borders as they do in hanging baskets,' promises Christopher.

'Best of all they, can be left to their own devices in sun or light shade, so they're one of the easiest GYO crops around!'

Where to buy alpine strawberry seeds:

6. Onions and garlic

A trough of onions and sweetcorn in a vegetable garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's incredibly easy to learn how to grow garlic, not to mention grow onions from onion sets, and you'll be pleased to know that March is a great time to get started on this grow your own project in earnest.

'Plant onion and shallot sets out now, plus garlic cloves to get them off to a good start for the year ahead,' says Morris. 

'Place them into the soil with the neck just above soil level and protect with some netting or a cloche while they root, otherwise the birds are likely to pull them out.'

Where to buy onion sets and garlic bulbs:

7. Fig trees

A fig tree growing against a wall in West Sussex

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That's right, everyone: the not-so-humble fig tree is absolutely on our list of what to plant in March, so long as you have a warm, sunny, sheltered spot for them. And, sure, you'll need to learn how to prune fig trees, but their tasty fruits will be more than reward enough for your efforts!

'March and April are excellent months to plant fruit trees, from apples and pears, to mulberry and fig trees,' says Morris.  

'There’s nothing as satisfying as picking your own homegrown fruit.'

Where to buy fig trees:

Best flowers to grow in March

It may still be cold and dreary outside, but now is the perfect time to start plotting which flowers you'd love to see growing in your garden when the sun is shining brightly.

'You can create a wildflower garden, or simply fill a few pots and containers, by sowing wildflower mixes towards the end of March,' says Morris. 'These hardy little blooms prefer low quality soil, so they are a great option for filling in gaps and beds that haven’t been well prepared beforehand.'

If wildflowers aren't your cup of tea, though, there are still plenty more blooms to fill your garden with...

1. Dahlias

How to keep dahlias blooming: close-up image of a red dahlia in New Forest, UK

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's official: March is the perfect time to plant dahlia tubers if you want non-stop blooms all midsummer and autumn long.

'Dahlia tubers can be started off in pots at the end of the month and throughout April which will get them off to a good start,' says Morris. 

'If you have stored tubers over winter, take them out of storage, brush them down and trim off any straggly, rotted or dead material. Place them into a pot with the main stem above the compost and give them a light water.' 

All that's left to do is keep them in a greenhouse or conservatory, and they will soon start shooting.

Where to buy dahlia tubers:

2. Roses

A bee-friendly pink flower growing in an English garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes Photography)

Make all of your cottage garden dreams come true and learn how to grow roses this month, as March is an ideal time to plant bare root rose bushes in your garden.

'Roses will forever be the most romantic flowers around,' says Christopher, 'and, while you can plant out container-grown roses all year round, it's far cheaper to work with bare root roses in March.'

Morris agrees, advising that you should 'avoid planting out in waterlogged or frozen soil'.

'If you need to wait until the conditions have improved, you can ‘heel in’ bare roots by digging a V shaped trench and placing the roots in at an angle before filling in loosely with soil for up to a month,' he says.

Where to buy bare root roses:

3. Zinnias

Brightly coloured zinnias growing in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're still trying to suss out what to plant in March, you can't go wrong with brightly-coloured zinnias.

'Zinnias have become so popular recently because they are easy to germinate, great to grow and bring so much colour to the garden,' says Morris. 

'Pollinators love them, making them ideal for wildlife garden ideas, and there are many colours to choose from. Sow about 6 seeds per 9cm pot and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite before watering.'

Where to buy zinnia seeds:

  • Thompson & Morgan: a great selection of zinnia seeds to choose from
  • Crocus: fill your garden with colourful flowers thanks to this wide variety of zinnia seeds

4. Strawflowers

Strawflowers blooming in resplendent yellow

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fancy planting something a little different this March? 'Strawflowers are another cut flower that has become more popular recently,' says Morris. 

'Not only do pollinators love them but they can be cut and cried for seasonal crafts later in the year.'

If you're tempted, sow strawflower seeds into pots of either seed compost or peat free multi purpose compost and keep them undercover. 

'Germination may be up to two weeks and when they are big enough to handle, remove the smaller seedlings to make way for the stronger ones to grow,' explains Morris, noting that you will need to harden them off when the weather warms up, and finally plant into their final position in beds and borders after all frosts have past. 

Where to buy strawflower seeds:

Best hedging and trees to plant in March

If you've been busily researching the best hedging plants for your garden look this way: there are plenty of trees and hedges on our list of what to plant in March. 

'If you are thinking of moving evergreen hedging plants such as Elaeagnus, Escallonia and Holly these can gently be dug up during March, making sure the new planting hole is ready for the plants to be situated immediately,' says Morris.

'When you remove the plant try to disturb the roots as little as possible and water in.'

A countryside house with a hedge and a green field

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Noting that 'deciduous hedging can be moved through winter to March, making it a job to get done sooner rather than later,' Morris goes on to say that the window for planting bare root hedging is about to close.

'There is just enough time to still plant bare root hedging while the plants are still dormant,' he says. 

'Try planting Blackthorn, Common Privet, Elder and Berberis which will arrive without any soil and ready to be planted straight away.'

Of course, if you can’t wait for bare roots to grow, you have the option of planting potted hedging or instant hedge plants which can be planted any time of year. 


What plants can I plant in March?

If you're wondering what to plant in March, there's plenty to choose from, although our hearts have firmly been won over by bare root roses, dahlia tubers, zinnia seeds, potatoes, asparagus crowns, broccoli, chillies, and tomatoes.

If you're feeling brave, be sure to plant a fig tree, too!

What bedding plants can I plant in March?

From sweet peas to marigolds, calendula to petunias, there are plenty of bedding plants that can be sown in March.

A greenhouse with a path and large plant pots next to it

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

What seeds can I sow in March?

'If you have somewhere undercover such as a greenhouse, coldframe, heated propagator or warm windowsill, you can sow many seeds at this time of year,' says Morris. 

Think broad beans, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, tomatoes, lettuces, radish, peas, spinach, summer brassicas, salad leaves, leeks, chard, kohl rabi and turnips, to name just a few options.

'Keep an eye out for frosts to give seedlings extra protection if needed, ensure ventilation on warmer days and keep the compost moist but not overwatered to prevent disease such as damping off.' 

If you're planting your seeds outdoors, Morris adds that you must 'always check the weather before sowing and planting so you know if your plants and seeds can tolerate the conditions'. 

'Have some horticultural fleece on hand so you can quickly wrap up plants and seeds if and when the temperature drops low.'

Now that you know what to plant in March, it's time to turn your attention to your garden in earnest, and get it prepped and ready for the growing season ahead.

Which will you be tackling first?

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.