Monthly Gardening Advice – March
- If the weather is mild, you may need to start mowing, remember to cut on the lawn mowers highest setting.
- In late March apply a high nitrogen feed like Scotts ‘Lawn Builder’.
- It’s a great time to sow a wildflower meadow.
- Turf can be laid as long as the ground is not waterlogged or frozen. Work off planks of wood to avoid compacting soil, then leave undisturbed for a couple of weeks to allow the roots to establish – keep well watered.
- Prepare seedbeds for new lawns to be seeded later in spring but only if the soil is not too wet.
- Do not leave houseplants on windowsills behind curtains or blinds on frosty nights.
- Many conservatory plants can be pruned in early spring. Shorten the stems of cestrum, brugmansia, and argyranthemum, also plumbago and passion flowers can be thinned.
- Clean shiny- leaved plants with a damp cloth and spiky leaves with a soft brush.
- Stand houseplants on trays of damp gravel or stones to give the plants extra humidity in centrally heated homes.
Jobs To Do In the Garden
- Check that all your winter frost protection is securely in place.
- Lift and divide larger clumps of perennials.
- Top dress containers with fresh compost.
- Cut back cornus (dogwood), salix (willow), buddleja (butterfly bush), lavatera, perovskia, hardy fuchsia and other summer or late summer flowering deciduous shrubs.
- Plant deciduous hedging, roses, shrubs and trees.
- Prune spring flowering shrubs once they have finished flowering.
- Sweet peas can be sown outside this month.
- Protect new shoots from slugs.
Jobs To Do In The Greenhouse
- Check that heaters are working.
- Remember to ventilate your greenhouse on sunny days.
- Start cannas into growth by potting up water sparingly and place in a light position, increase watering as growth develops.
- Begonia, gloxinia, dahlia and achimenes tubers can all be planted in trays this month before potting on once growth appears.
- Prick out seedlings before they get too crowded.
- Top dress citrus with fresh compost.
- Look out for plug plants, which are now ready for sale. Grow on in the greenhouse, while avoiding the need for propagation facilities and labour.
- Soft tip fuchsia cuttings can be taken this month.
- Greenhouse bulbs that have finished flowering can be given a high potash feed (Tomorite) to help build the bulb up for next season.
The Vegetable Garden
- Chit early and main-crop potatoes.
- Prepare vegetable seed beds, and sow some vegetables under glass.
- Net fruit and vegetable plants to keep birds off.
- Plant onions, shallots and early potatoes.
- Prune currants, gooseberries and autumn raspberries especially new bush or cordons
- Protect brassicas from pigeons.
- Finish planting bare-root fruit trees and bushes.
- Prepare beds and supports for peas and runner beans
- Continue to harvest parsnips, brussels, sprouting broccoli, winter salad, spring cauliflower and leeks.
- Prepare polythene protection for peach leaf curl on peaches and nectarines.
- Sow peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, salad and aubergines inside.
Wildlife & Bird Care
- Put out food for the hungry birds don’t forget to put some on the ground as well as the bird table.
- Put up nesting boxes for birds.
- Keep birdbaths topped up with water.
- Clean birdbaths and tables
- Put out log and/ or rock piles to create areas of shelter for wildlife
- Plan and dig wildlife pond
- Hang a bee-nesting box
- Sow or plant a wildflower meadow
- Introduce frogspawn to your pond
- Put out hedgehog and badger food.
Any Other Advice
- Forced indoor bulbs that were inside during the winter period, which have finished flowering can be planted in the garden.
- It’s a great time to install a water butt and collect your own rainwater.
Enjoy your garden and don’t forget to take time and stop and stare at the wonder of nature. Happy gardening!