Spring Into Action
March has to be the month in which the garden really starts to wake up, full of promise for the approaching growing season. This means there is far more to talk about than my allotted space permits – so here goes!
Grass will start to grow so give the lawn its first cut of the year. Set the blades high. Rake (scarify) the lawn to get rid of debris, dead grass and moss…
Aerate badly drained areas of the lawn with a hollow tined fork
Prune Hybrid Tea (large flowered) and Floribunda (cluster flowered) Roses and then give them a feed. Shrub Roses and Ramblers should not be pruned in the spring as they flower on the previous years’ wood. However, they still benefit from a feed.
Herbaceous plants or cottage garden plants will start to grow if they have not done so already.
Fork a general-purpose plant food or some chicken pellets around them then apply a mulch such as garden compost, composted bark or bark chips to keep the moisture in and the weeds down.
Finish pruning Clematis. How this should be done depends upon which group your Clematis falls into. Feed after pruning and mulch.
Buy summer flowering bulbs, corms and tubers, such as Gladioli, Dahlias, Begonias, Crocosmia and Lilies. Gladioli can be planted in the second half of the month.
Sow hardy annuals outside towards the end of March. Sow half hardy annuals in the greenhouse, on a window sill, in a conservatory or buy young plants to grown on.
Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes and Spinach can be sown outside and then covered with cloches. Plant Onion sets and Shallots.
Put Seed Potatoes in a cool, light position to chit (sprout). Plant early varieties towards the end of the month. This is the last chance to plant bare root fruit trees into well prepared soil. Mulch trees and bushes to keep the soil moist and weed free. As Rhubarb pushes through cover with an up-turned bucket to exclude the light to encourage the plant to produce pink shoots. For an early crop, bring potted Strawberries into the greenhouse, water and feed.