Sow What Now - What to Plant This March

Blushing Lady Narcissus

We love this quote from one of our favorite gardeners, Margaret Roach, who has this to say about March: "Make like a daffodil. Poke your head up and have a look around—but be prepared to abort the mission, perhaps several times, and even get snowed on. Be nimble, ready to act when the forces are willing, but be patient, too, especially up North."

Margaret's words couldn't feel more real as the balmy days of earlier this week are replaced by the expectation of 6+ inches of snow. Luckily, while March is often unpredictable, there are plenty of brave seeds unafraid of the weather and ready to get to work!

Today, we'll feature varieties you can direct sow in March. Stay tuned for next week when we'll cover early indoor starting varieties.

Varieties to Direct Sow in March

Cold-loving flower varieties should be sown as early as possible to catch the tail-end of of the cold to ensure good germination, including Johnny Jump-Ups, Milkweed and Poppies.

Johnny Jump-Ups
Shirley Single Poppy








March 17th marks St. Patrick's day, a traditional marker of when peas and other hardy crops go into the ground, as long as the soil is ready to be worked! We know this much-used phrase can seem pretty nebulous. It means when the soil has recovered from the winter freeze. The top several inches should be dry and crumbly enough that the soil doesn't stick as you run a tool across the surface but instead falls away in small chunks or crumbles. The following varieties can all be sown as soon as soil can be worked.

Green Arrow Shell Pea
Wild Arugula
Evergreen Scallion








  1. Peas! For the full scoop on which of our pea varieties is right for you, see our Pea blog, with notes directly from our trial gardens.
  2. Wild Arugula - this cool-loving green doesn't particularly love mid-summer but it will do well for most of the season so keep on sowing! Harvest when young for fresh use or when slightly older for braising.
  3. Bloomsdale Spinach - these succulent, slightly savoyed leaves are our earliest new growth greens. Direct sow anytime soil can be worked in the cooler months, from about 6 weeks before first fall frost until the date of your last spring frost. Harvest promptly, especially in late spring, when it tends to bolt under heat pressure.
  4. Evergreen Scallion - while these can be overwintered, spring scallions can be direct sown 4 weeks before your last frost date, or up to 12 weeks if started indoors. We love the versatility of scallions - simply chop and use to garnish almost any dish!
  5. Radishes - one of the oldest cultivated crops, radishes are said to hail from Egypt and their name comes from the Latin word "radix" meaning root. We love their color and variety, particularly the aptly named Easter Egg Radish.

Ready to get started? Explore these related products:

Sow Outdoors Early Set

Sow Outdoors Early Set

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Sow Indoors Early Starter Set: Tender

Sow Indoors Early Starter Set: Tender

Start your solanaceous from seed this year!

Breadseed Poppy Mix

Breadseed Poppy Mix

Brief beauty, longlasting health



Help ease the threat placed on Monarch populations by establishing a patch for their habitat.

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8 thoughts on “Sow What Now - What to Plant This March”

  • JP

    Sunflowers, Sunflowers...I promised
    a customer large, prolific sunflowers
    for this year’s garden.
    How soon can I direct sow seed?
    Didn’t germinate last year.

    Are you at the Philly Flower Show this year?


    • Isabel Vinton
      Isabel Vinton 03/05/2018 at 6:10 am

      Hi JP Gardener, yes we're at Phili - you'll find us at booth 300! For sunflowers, we recommend direct sowing after last frost. You'll need a spot with full sun and well-drained soil. If you're worried about germination, you can sow indoors a couple of weeks before your last frost date. The seeds will germinate best at a temp between 70-85 degrees and will take 10-14 days. Good luck!

  • Judith Taylor
    Judith Taylor 03/03/2018 at 6:19 am

    Thank you for your helpful seed starting information! I'm going to encourage our Littleton Seed Library participants to sign up for your blog. Thanks again for your donation of seeds (and artwork!) to our library.


    I love that you, my favorite seed company, have quoted my all-time favorite gardener/blogger, Margaret Roach! I'll see you at the 2018 Phila Flower Show later this week (as always!) to buy more of your beautifully designed packets of seeds. For years, I've saved the beautiful packets after using the seeds. Would love to see ideas of how others have used multiples of them in frames, colleges or displays.


    Do you recommend sowing the "as soon as soil can be worked" seeds like peas, radishes etc even if theres a possibility of snow cover again?

    • Isabel Vinton
      Isabel Vinton 03/14/2018 at 7:59 am

      Hi Maria, we'd recommend waiting until after the chance of snow cover to allow the soil a little more time to recover from the 'winter freeze'. Some definitely start planting in the last 2 weeks of March. We tend to wait until end March/early April. Hope that helps!


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