11 Seeds You Should Start in March

Spring is on the horizon, and there are so many seeds to plant. March sowing ensures abundant, flavorful harvests as the weather warms. Garden expert and former organic farmer Logan Hailey digs into 11 less-common seeds to start in March.

march seeds. Close-up of broccoli in a sunny garden. The broccoli plant is characterized by its dense cluster of dark green, flowering heads composed of numerous small, tightly packed florets. These florets form a compact, rounded shape that resembles a miniature tree, with a central stalk supporting the foliage. Surrounding the main head are large, coarse leaves that extend outward and downward, forming a protective canopy around the developing florets.


You’ve been indoors long enough! March is the time to get back in the garden and establish exciting veggie and fruit crops to feed your family all summer long. In zones 9 and warmer, spring is taking off. Zones 6-7 may still be experiencing chilly nights, while zones 5 and colder likely still have snow on the ground. Wherever you are, March is the perfect time to start seeds outdoors or inside under cover. 

Let’s dig into 11 seeds you can start this month for a fruitful start to your best growing season yet!

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11 Interesting Seeds to Start in March

Spring greens, radishes, herbs, and peas are common crops for March. But if you want to switch things up this season and get a jumpstart on your summer crops, here are 11 seeds you can sow this month, both indoors and out.


Close-up of potato plants in beds in the garden. The Potato plant (Solanum tuberosum) presents a distinctive appearance with its herbaceous stems that bear broad, lobed leaves arranged in a spiral pattern along the stems. The leaves are a lush green color and may have a slightly fuzzy texture.
Grow delicious potatoes from seed potatoes in suitable conditions.

This quintessential tuber provides all the buttery, delicious, carb-rich sustenance you need! Grocery store spuds have nothing on homegrown potatoes. These easy-going nightshade family crops yield in abundance and offer a huge diversity of colors, flavors, shapes, and textures to expand your potato-tasting palette. In zones 7-10, March is prime time for potato planting. For zones 6 and colder, wait until late April or May.

You can grow potatoes in just about any soil and any garden system, including in-ground beds, raised beds, grow bags, or a five-gallon bucket. Most spuds are propagated vegetatively from so-called “seed potatoes,” which are really just small potato tubers that grow into new plants. If you are adventurous and up for a challenge, you can try growing potatoes from their true seeds using the ‘Clancy’ variety offered by Botanical Interests. However, the vegetative propagation method is easier for beginners.

Seed potatoes are best purchased from a reputable source or you can buy organic potatoes at the grocery store. Make sure they are organic. Otherwise, they may have been treated with sprout inhibitor chemicals that prevent the spuds from sending up shoots. 

You need your seed potatoes to “chit,” or pre-sprout their shoots to ensure they are ready for planting. You will notice “eyes” or buds all around a potato. This is where shoots sprout from. You can “chit” potatoes by leaving them in a light area like a countertop for a week or so before planting.

Plant seed potatoes about 6” deep in the soil and let them come up on autopilot. These plants are considered “pioneer crops” because they can come up in relatively unimproved soil and still grow well. Potatoes aerate and improve the soil for future crops as well. 

Within a few weeks, you’ll see a bit of green growth above the ground. If you notice any tubers peeking up above ground, pile on a mound of soil to hill them up. Within two months, the plants will grow bushy and lush. The leaves will begin turning yellow and producing purple flowers within three months of planting. Then, you can dig them up and enjoy a beautiful meal of “new” spring potatoes with tender skins and a buttery smooth texture. 


Close-up of cabbage plant in the garden. The cabbage plant is characterized by its dense cluster of large, tightly packed leaves forming a compact, round-shaped head. These leaves are broad, smooth, and bluish-green in color, with a slightly waxy texture.
Grow spring or fall brassicas in suitable conditions for abundant harvests.

Sometimes called “cole crops,” the brassica group of vegetables includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. These plants are all grown in a very similar way, which is why we often lump them together in the seed-starting process. Like many cool-weather crops, you can grow brassicas in two seasons: spring or fall

Spring-grown brassica plants should be seeded in the spring so they can produce prolific harvests before the weather gets too hot and the leaves turn bitter. In zones 8-10, March is the ideal window for getting brassica seeds in the ground. Ideally, you may have sown these seeds earlier in the spring so you can transplant while the weather is mild. If not, there is still plenty of time to direct sow or establish seedlings.

In zones 6-7, you want to ensure your brassica starts are seeded indoors by early March. In zones 4-5, you can sow these plants indoors but wait until April to plant them outside.

Some of our favorite brassica varieties for March planting include:

    • ‘Copenhagen Market’ Cabbage: This cabbage grows great in spring or fall in almost any climate. They need consistent moisture to produce large coleslaw-worthy heads.
    • ‘Di Cicco’ Broccoli: This heat-tolerant and frost-tolerant broccoli will produce a wonderful head of verdant green florets and produce side shoots all spring and summer.


Close-up of blooming Marigolds in a sunny garden. Marigolds are characterized by their vibrant and cheerful appearance, boasting dense clusters of small, daisy-like flowers in various shades of yellow, orange, and red. These flowers feature multiple layers of petals radiating from a central disc, creating a pom-pom-like appearance.
Companion planting with marigolds deters pests and supports plant health.

Companion planting is a buzzword in the garden world for a reason; it’s science-backed, highly effective, and super simple! Certain flowers and herbs really do deter pests from your plants and attract natural predators to keep bugs in check.

Some flowers, like marigolds, even emit compounds from their roots to help prevent below-ground infestations like root-knot nematodes. These root-eating nematodes can be especially harmful to tomato plants, so I never grow a tomato bed without companion planting marigolds! 

While they may be a little smelly to humans, the scent of marigold blooms is excellent for repelling pests from your garden crops. In zones 8 and warmer, these seeds can be directly sown in your garden in March. Zones 7 and colder should wait until April or May to seed them because the seeds require soil temperatures of at least 70°F (21°C). 

The three main types of marigolds are:

  • French Marigolds (Tagetes patula): Smaller blooms and compact plants for deterring next season’s root-knot nematodes
  • African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta): Larger, fluffier blooms on tall upright plants best for cut flowers and ornamental use
  • Signet Marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia): Tiny blooms and compact plants for eating and deterring next season’s root knot nematodes

Both types are effective, but most of the companion planting research has been conducted on French marigolds. The plants grow rapidly and bloom all summer long. Best of all, you aren’t only getting natural pest control! These blooms are bright and beautiful for an intriguing and attractive garden of rainbow colors. Try ‘Favorite Blend’ for the most gorgeous pest control around.


Close-up of blooming Nasturtiums in a sunny garden among green foliage. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are known for their vibrant and distinctive appearance, featuring round, deeply lobed leaves of bright green color. These trailing annuals produce striking flowers in hues of yellow, orange, and red, with five petals and a distinctive spur extending behind the blossom.
Loved by all, nasturtiums make great vegetable garden companions.

With their red and yellow flowers and lily-pad-shaped leaves, nasturtiums are a vining delight often grown for ornamental use. But these plants also make the perfect companions for your vegetable garden! 

Everyone loves nasturtiums! Pollinators go wild for their abundant nectar. Pests like aphids and cucumber beetles are drawn to them. Chickens love their leaves. And humans can eat the edible blooms! In zones 8 and warmer, March is the perfect time to direct sow nasturtiums as long as the outdoor temperatures are above 40°F (4°C). 

Gardeners in zones 6-7 should wait until April, and cold climate growers in zones 5 and cooler usually need to wait until May. If you don’t want to wait until your last frost, you can get a head start on these pretty flowers by sowing indoors in seed trays right now!

You may think it is a bad thing to plant flowers that attract pests, but nasturtium gardeners have some tricks up their sleeves. This flower is often used as a “trap crop” for pests, which means the pests are drawn away from your crops because their attention is on the nasturtiums. If the nasturtiums get too infested, you can easily cut them back and throw away the pest-laden leaves with the assurance that the bugs did not attack your precious crops.

Plant beautiful trailing nasturtium seeds in March as a border plant to vine up fence lines or pergolas along the margins of your garden. The cascading vines are a lovely sight to see, and they will be abuzz with insect activity all summer long.


Close-up of blooming Linaria on a blurred background of a sunny garden. Linaria is a charming genus of flowering plants distinguished by its slender stems bearing linear leaves and spiky clusters of tubular flowers. The flowers of Linaria come in various shades including purple and white-yellow centers. These blooms resemble miniature snapdragons, with two lips that open like a dragon's mouth when squeezed.
Sow linaria seeds for charming garden spires attracting butterflies and bees.

This unique flower is enchanting and exotic. Sometimes called toadflax or mini snapdragon, linaria blooms have charming garden spires that attract an abundance of butterflies and bees. ‘Fairy Bouquet’ is Epic founder Kevin’s favorite variety because it has pretty pastel hues of pink, purple, and yellow. 

In southern zones 9 and warmer, it’s best to sow linaria seeds in late summer or early fall so you can enjoy the blooms throughout winter and spring. Temperate growers in zones 6-8 can seed linaria outdoors in March. Zones 5 and colder should wait until April when the weather is a bit warmer.

The germination time of flower seeds tends to be a bit longer than vegetable seeds, so patience and attentiveness are important. The ultra-tiny seeds of linaria can take about 10-20 days to germinate. It’s important to sow them in clumps that are very shallowly pressed into the soil. You don’t want to cover the seeds. If covered, they won’t have enough light to germinate. Linaria seeds are also transplantable if you want to sow them indoors in seed trays.

Interplant these delicate blooms anywhere in your garden where you want an extra splash of color and more pollinator food. Some gardeners even like to practice “chaos gardening” with the seeds by sprinkling the packet in random beds throughout the spring season.


Close-up of blooming Sunflowers on a blurred green background. Sunflowers are iconic and striking plants with a commanding presence, characterized by their tall, sturdy stems crowned by large, vibrant flower heads. These flower heads consist of a central disc surrounded by numerous bright yellow or golden petals radiating outward, creating a captivating and sun-like appearance. The disc itself is densely packed with tiny florets, forming a contrasting dark center against the surrounding petals. Sunflowers' leaves are broad, coarse, and rough-textured, arranged alternately along the stem.
Grow diverse sunflower types for summer bees and fall bird food.

With their towering heights and unique diversity, sunflowers are an essential garden bloom for attracting bees in the summer and feeding birds (or humans) with their seeds in the fall. There are many different types of sunflowers, including:

Multi-branching sunflower varieties produce several branches from one plant, which means many more stalks crowned with gorgeous flowers. These types provide longer, continuous bloom displays with multiple flowers per plant for a textural garden. Our favorite varieties are:

  • ‘Lemon Queen’: Majestic sunny yellow flowers attract tons of pollinators 
  • ‘Evening Sun’: Striking burgundy and orange-hued blossoms have vivid golden rings around the center for a sunset-like appearance 

If you prefer a single-stalk sunflower that grows super tall as a focal point in your garden, you don’t want to miss out on these epically huge sunflower varieties. Note that single-branch sunflowers won’t bloom for as long and only produce one flower per plant. The top pick from Jacques in the Garden is:

  • ‘Mongolian Giant’: Each plant produces one gigantic head atop a giant stalk, perfect for harvesting seeds at the end of the season.

Sunflowers are warm-weather plants, so you should only seed them outdoors in March if you live in zones 8 or warmer and the risk of hard frosts has passed. In zones 5-7, you can start sunflowers indoors this month. 

However, keep in mind that these flowers have taproots that do not like the disturbance of transplanting. Soil blocks or paper pots are a great way to move sunflower seedlings into the garden without disturbing the roots. Still, transplanted sunflowers often don’t reach their fullest potential.

Pro Tip: For truly giant, massive sunflowers, direct sow the seeds and provide plenty of water in the early spring.


Close-up of Basil against a blurred dark background. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a fragrant herb with a distinctive appearance, featuring aromatic, glossy green leaves that are oval-shaped and serrated along the edges. The leaves grow in pairs opposite each other along the stem.
Regularly harvest basil for extended leaf production.

Imagine life without fresh garden pesto! That would be a measly existence. Basil is one of the most versatile, tasty, and abundant herbs you can grow. A single bushy plant will continuously yield new leaves all summer until it bolts (goes to seed). One great thing about growing basil is the more you harvest, the more it yields. So, if you long for fresh caprese, pizza, pesto, and pasta garnishes all summer long, pinching your basil will prevent it from going to seed.

Everleaf Emerald Towers’ basil is a top pick for culinary use and warm climates. This slow-bolting variety is particularly advantageous for southern growers who struggle to grow a long season of basil when the summers get hot. This cultivar is bred for a longer leaf harvest and may not start flowering until late summer, sometimes as late as October! 

Many other varieties of basil will bolt early in the season, reducing your harvest window. Fortunately, basil flowers are still advantageous for the garden because they are edible and attract lots of pollinators. However, I prefer to prevent bolting with regular pruning and harvesting, particularly snipping the clustered leaf tips off of each branch.

The best time to seed basil is mid-to-late March if you garden in zones 8-10. For zones 6-7, wait to plant basil outdoors until April or May. Zones 5 and colder can’t reliably grow outdoor basil until late May or June. However, this warm-weather herb is easy to start indoors for a jumpstart on the pesto season. Sow seeds ¼” deep in seedling trays filled with a well-drained starting mix and keep them consistently moist. Transplant out 1-2 weeks after your last frost date.


Close-up of Dill growing in a garden bed. Dill is an aromatic herb known for its feathery, delicate appearance, featuring finely divided, fern-like leaves that grow in clusters along slender, hollow stems. The leaves are bright green.
Versatile dill supports pollinators, yields edible leaves, and attracts beneficial insects.

It’s not only for dill pickles! This herb gets major points for versatility because it supports pollinators, produces delicious edible leaves, has flavorful flower and seed heads, and attracts beneficial predator insects to keep pests under control. Dill is also one of the host plants for the eastern black swallowtail butterfly. The umbel-shaped yellow blossoms are full of nectar and pollen, eventually maturing into delicious dill seeds.

But if you want to grow dill for its leaves, you’ll want to catch as many flavorful fronds as possible before it bolts. ‘Tetra’ is a slow-bolting variety perfect for hot, southern climates. Fortunately, once dill sends up its flower heads, the entire plant is still delicious and multi-functional in the garden and kitchen.

Direct seed dill in March if you live in zones 8 or warmer. In zones 7 and colder, you can start dill seeds indoors and wait to transplant out in April or May. 

Green Beans

Close-up of Green beans in the garden. Green beans are characterized by their upright growth habit and lush, vibrant foliage. The plants feature slender, twining stems adorned with alternating, ovate leaves that are a deep green color. Green bean plants produce clusters of small, white flowers along the stems, which give way to slender, elongated pods containing the developing beans.

It is difficult to grow protein in the garden very quickly, but these quick-maturing beans provide a punch of protein with very little effort. Beans work for container gardening, in-ground beds, or even vertical systems. These stout, compact plants are highly productive and yield a consistent supply of beans for fresh eating or summer cooking.

Our favorite varieties are: 

  • Royal Burgundy’: Perfect for colder climates or small spaces, these plants yield vibrant purple elongated bean pods.
  • ‘French Filet’: These bourgeois French beans have slender green pods perfect for sautés.
  • ‘Gold Rush’: This yellow bean is fun and fast maturing, yielding just 50-60 days from seeding.

All these green beans are grown in the same manner. Beans are warm-weather plants that need frost-free weather to thrive. The soil must be at least 70°F (21°C) for them to germinate properly. Direct sowing is ideal because the bean seedlings are sensitive to root disturbance, but you can still start them indoors in colder climates. Biodegradable paper pots, soil blocks, or Epic Seed Trays are great options to reduce root disturbance when transplanting. 

Sow bean seeds in March about an inch deep and keep consistently moist until they germinate. If transplanting, you can plant the seedlings down to the first node to encourage bushing. They may yellow a bit due to transplant shock, but they tend to improve within a couple of weeks. A little dose of kelp or fish meal can help them recover. 

Like all legumes, these are nitrogen-fixing crops that work symbiotically with soil bacteria in their root zone to transform atmospheric nitrogen into plant-available nitrogen. However, it takes time for the nodules to develop, and an early nitrogen boost can help plants take off more quickly.

Plant green beans in March in zones 8 and warmer. Zones 7 and cooler should wait until April or May when the weather is more settled and reliably frost-free. Maintain a continuous supply of green beans by planting in cycles every 1-2 weeks throughout the summer. Make sure you keep harvesting them so they will keep producing.


Close-up of freshly picked Carrots in a bed of growing carrot plants. Carrots are recognizable for their distinctive appearance, featuring elongated taproots that taper to a point and are a bright orange hue. Carrot foliage consists of fern-like, feathery leaves that grow in a rosette at the top of the taproot.
Plant carrots in moist soil, space them properly, and avoid deep burial for successful germination.

March is prime time for growing carrots from seed! These cool-weather crops are especially tasty in the chill of spring or fall. Most gardeners have trouble germinating carrots because the seeds are somewhat finicky. If you want to get the best germination possible, follow these tips:

Ensure very moist soil that never dries out. Carrot seeds take 10-14 days to germinate, and if they dry out on any of those days, they’ll fail. Water is key!

Plant carrots in a shallow furrow along the irrigation line to keep them as close to the water as possible. Use your fingers to bend the edge of the seed packet into a little pour spout and slowly tap the carrots so they can fall into place. These small seeds are hard to perfectly space, so it is important to thin them out to 1” of space between plants after they germinate. If you forget to thin, the roots will end up spindly and stringy because they don’t have enough space to mature into full-size carrots.

Very lightly bury the seeds, but avoid covering them with too much soil. Carrot seeds are small and don’t have enough energy to emerge from deep in the ground. Gently press them in place to ensure seed-to-soil contact. Water them in with a generous, steady drink from a fan-nozzle hose, but avoid blasting the soil with water, or you may displace the seeds.

The final game-changer tip is to cover your carrot seeds with cardboard, burlap, or large leaves from your garden. Then, water the surface of that material. This thin cover will slow the evaporation dramatically to ensure the seeds stay super moist underneath. When you notice sprouts after about 10-14 days, lift the cardboard or cover and marvel at the newly germinated baby plants.

Two great carrot options for spring are:

You can grow both of these quick-maturing carrots in containers or shallower beds. Don’t forget to loosen the soil below so the roots can dig down at least 5-6”.

Turmeric and Ginger

Close-up of ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) in a sunny garden. The ginger plant is characterized by its tall, reed-like stems that arise from thick, knobby rhizomes underground. The stems are adorned with lance-shaped leaves arranged in two opposite rows, with a glossy green surface and prominent parallel veins.
Grow ginger and turmeric in warm climates, starting indoors in colder zones.

These iconic spicy rhizomes are both in the family Zingiberaceae, and they can be grown in the same way. Turmeric and ginger are rhizomatous, which means they grow and expand through underground root structures called rhizomes. The rhizome is the part of the plant that we eat, so you want to promote as much root development as possible.

Ginger and turmeric both love hot, humid weather. While these are tropical plants, you can still grow them in colder climates. You can only grow ginger and turmeric outdoors in zones 7 and warmer. March is a great time for warm southern climates 9 and above to plant these rhizomes. 

In zones 7-8, you’ll want to start indoors in March in containers or in a greenhouse. In zones 6 and cooler, you can grow ginger and turmeric in flats or containers under grow lights or in a greenhouse.

You can plant rhizomes from organic turmeric or ginger purchased at your local grocery store. Non-organic roots may have been spread with growth inhibitors that prevent them from sprouting. You can also source seed turmeric and ginger online or at plant nurseries.

Before planting, break the rhizomes into sections 1-2” long and ensure that each section has at least 1-2 “eyes” or planting buds. Much like growing potatoes, you want to be sure there are enough eyes to ensure the plant can send out shoots. Leave the chunks of ginger or turmeric sitting out for a day or two to callous over the cuts.

In warmer climates where these tropical plants grow as perennials, you can plant them directly outside. But in colder climates, you’ll need to prepare containers with a blend of peat moss and compost. You can also plant in seed trays and transplant them out later. A grow bag offers a happy medium, so you don’t have to worry about transplanting later on. You can easily move the grow bag into your home or greenhouse if the nights fall below 40°F (4°C). 

Plant the rhizomes 2-3” deep, leaving each rhizome horizontal (flat) when planting. Gently cover with soil and water thoroughly. Keep ginger and turmeric in partial shade so they don’t get excessive amounts of sunlight. In 7-8 months, you may notice the leaves dying back, which means the plant is going dormant for the winter. You can harvest all the rhizomes to use in the kitchen, or you leave some in place and bring the plant inside for the winter.

Final Thoughts

If you’re bored with regular old spring salad mix, these unique options are sure to spice up your March plantings! As weather becomes increasingly unpredictable, a soil thermometer can be your best friend. Use it to determine if it’s safe to direct sow certain species outside. If not, you can always get a headstart indoors and transplant next month when the weather is warmer.

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