The idea of chilly days and nights disappearing still seems a long way off at the moment, however March heralds the start of Spring. Let’s hope that the temperatures improve as garden plants begin to spring into life.
- Finish pruning roses this month to encourage strong new growth.
- This is the last chance to plant bare-root trees, shrubs, roses and fruit trees.
- Prune shrubs with colourful winter stems to their base such as Cornus and Salix.
- Start to sow hardy annuals outdoors, including poppies and nasturtiums and nigella.
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies, begonias and freesias in pots and borders.
- Feed shrubs such as rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias with an ericaceous fertiliser.
- Tidy up borders, removing established and newly-germinating weeds, then mulch generously.
- Scatter general-purpose fertiliser over flowerbeds, around roses, shrubs and hedges, lightly forking it into the soil surface.
- Plant snowdrops in the green to brighten up your winter garden next year.
- Lift and divide established perennial plants now to improve their vigour and create new plants for your garden.
- Trim winter-flowering heathers as the flowers disappear to prevent the plants becoming leggy.
Fruit and veg
- Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers, courgetts and aubergines in pots indoors.
- Make the first outdoor sowings of hardy vegetables and protect with cloches or fleece.
- Plant early potatoes.
- Start hoeing vegetable beds as soon as the weather starts to warm up as weeds will germinate quickly.
- Take down insulation in the greenhouse once temperatures begin to rise. This will also let in more light.
- Buy bedding plants for growing on to a larger size under glass, or sow your own in a heated propagator.
- Pot up overwintering cannas into fresh compost, water in, then place in a warm spot to encourage them into growth.
- Sow sweet peas in deep pots and keep them frost-free in a greenhouse or on indoors on a sunny windowsill.
- Take cuttings from dahlia tubers to raise new plants.
- Open greenhouse vents on sunny days to prevent the humidity building up.
- In mild weather, give the lawn its first cut, with the mower on a high setting.
- Put slug barrier products around the new shoots of hostas and other susceptible perennials.
- Check that tree ties aren’t too tight and that stakes are still firmly anchored in the ground.
- Prune out any wind-damaged branches on trees and shrubs.
- Keep putting out food for garden birds as the breeding season will be getting underway.
- Cut back winter-flowering jasmine to tidy it up and encourage flowers for next year.
- Get rid of slippery patches on the patio and paving by scrubbing with a broom or blasting with a pressure washer.