March in the garden
As the weather starts to warm up, you should start to see your garden come alive with activity.
Below is a summary of our top gardening jobs this month. Scroll down if you want any more information on any of these jobs.
In the Vegetable Plot
- Plant Potatoes
- Start growing from seed
In the Flower Bed
- Protect shoots from slugs
- Put in plant supports
- Prune, Prune, Prune!
- Get weeding
- Plant spring-flowering plants
- Feed Camelias
Around the Garden
- Rake grass
In the vegetable plotâ€¦
Weâ€™ve had our seed potatoes in stock for a while, but now really is the time to get your â€œearlyâ€ Seed Potatoes in the ground. Your main crop varieties can be planted later on in March.
Start growing from seed
Start growing tomatoes, lettuces, peppers and any other seeds during March. Ideally grow them in a greenhouse, but a warm, light windowsill will do the job too. Remember to always use clean seed sowing trays, or pots, and think about using a special seed sowing compost, which can help good strong growth.
In the flower beds â€¦
Protect Spring shoots from slugs.
Slugs are starting to emerge from hibernation and looking for food. Your new shoots and emerging bulbs are particularly attractive to them and youâ€™ll need to act fast as they certainly will! If you have pets, such as chickens, around, or you want to be more wildlife friendly, give wool pellets a try. They are eco-friendly and also help to retain moisture in the soil. For pots you could try adhesive copper tape which discharges a static charge, or a snail trap. Alternatively try putting crushed egg shells around new shoots.
Put in plant supports
Put plant supports in now for any plants that will need them. That way the plants can grow up through/around them, and itâ€™s much easier than trying to put them in afterwards.
Prune Prune Prune!
- Roses â€“ to encourage new growth.
- Clematis â€“ early flowering varieties once theyâ€™ve finished flowering and summer flowering varieties before they start active growth.
- Overwintered fuchsias â€“ prune back to one or two buds on each shoot.
- Winter-flowering Jasmine â€“ cut back the previous yearâ€™s growth to 5cm from the old growth to encourage new growth for next yearâ€™s flowers.
- Winter-flowering Heather â€“ trim as the flowers go over to prevent the getting leggy.
- Also deadhead Daffodils, Hydrangeas and Winter Pansies.
Give Cornus and Salix a hard prune (back to the base) to keep them at a manageable size and promote better growth of vigorous new shoots and foliage for the coming season.
As spring gets going weeds will start to emerge, just as plants do, so itâ€™s best to get on top of them early. Pull out and dig up any annual weeds, and for perennials, use a weed killer (with glyphosate in) to make sure you kill the whole root to stop it coming back. If youâ€™re not sure of the difference â€“ if it comes out easily itâ€™s an annual.
Plant spring-flowering plants
Plant spring-flowering plants such as primroses, pansies and viola for instant colour. You can also plant some evergreens, like Viburnum Eve Price and Hebes â€“ just be sure to cover them with fleece if we have a late cold snap.
Apply an ericaceous liquid feed to Camelias to encourage strong blooms.
Around the gardenâ€¦
Give your grass a rake over to lift the grass and weeds and remove the remnants of winter. Then, when the rain stops, give your lawn a light mow â€“ not too low though, you donâ€™t want to scalp the grass! Look for any bare patches in your grass and re-sow.
For the wildlife…
Keep bird feeders topped up with calorie rich foods.
Put up bird boxes in sheltered spots before breeding season, or check existing boxes to make sure they’re fixed onto walls and fences properly. Clean out any existing materials.