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Home food garden: What to plant in March

The South African autumn officially starts this month, and Gaye Boshoff is back with a guide on what to plant in your home food garden

In March we are gearing up for our cold crops including brassicas and garlic, says plant advisor and owner of Honeymoon Farms in Knysna. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Yes, we know, organic vegetable gardening in your own home food garden is an activity that can be challenging. But it is really the simplest and most rewarding experience at the same time too. Isn’t it?

Just ask our favourite planting advisor, Gaye Boshoff.

Gaye Boshoff, owner of Honeymoon Farms in Knysna in the Western Cape. The farm is known for its organic fruit and veggies. Photo: Supplied/ Food For Mzansi

Along with her husband, Pieter Boshoff, and her two children, Gaye runs Honeymoon Farm, a smallholding in the Harkerville forest between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the Western Cape Garden Route.

March signals the beginning of autumn in Mzansi and if you are in the chilly parts of the country, Boshoff advises you gear up and prep cold crops, including brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts), garlic, and chamomile in the winter rainfall Western Cape.

“The biggest thing is your garlic planting now, you can plant it everywhere.”

Also read: Grow your own garlic

Those who have the fortune of experiencing subtropical weather all year round, you are lucky. You can get planting on a variety of crops including marrows, eggplant, peppers, pumpkins and squash.

Given the global pandemic, now more than ever vegetable gardening in your own home food garden has become the most rewarding hobby, Boshoff believes.

Planting veggies in their right season will greatly enhance your harvest, says plant advisor Gaye Boshoff. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

“I don’t think a lot of people can afford food at the moment, and your basic staples like potatoes are quite easy to grow.

 “When you pick vegetables out of your garden, they’re just full of nutrition and healthier. Even if it is just a little spinach or some tomatoes, it’s much better than what you would buy in a shop.”

Do watch out if you are seed saving, though. You need to choose carefully what you adjacent to one another.

Boshoff cautions that, “broccoli and cauliflower are some of those vegetables that cross pollinate easily. If you want to collect the seeds afterwards, you will have a problem if you planted all those things. It creates like a weird vegetable. It won’t be a good seed.”

Also read: Food prices: No rest for poor mothers

Here is what you can plant in your home food garden this month:

Gauteng, you are good to go for:

  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Spinach

Mpumalanga, you are good to go for:

  • Beetroot
  • Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Spinach

Western Cape, you are good to go for:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnip
  • Potato
  • Radish
  • Spinach

Free State, you are good to go for:

  • Beetroot
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Spinach

Northern Cape, you are good to go for:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Radish

KwaZulu-Natal, you are good to go for:

  • Beetroot
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Spinach

North West, you are good to go for:

  • Beetroot
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce

Limpopo, you are good to go for:

  • Beetroot
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Radish

Eastern Cape, you are good to go for:

  • Bush beans
  • Climbing beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Parsnip
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Swiss Chard
  • Radish
  • Tomato
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.
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