Where to start with gardening in March?
With the arrival of Spring it's now time to put all your garden plans into action as there are plenty of jobs to be starting. It's time to get busy sowing and growing!
March is a great time to focus on your borders. If the ground allows, it's time for some weeding! Mulch is a great addition as it acts as a barrier against weeds, insulates roots from the cold, provides nutrients and keeps soil moist.
Now is the perfect time to plant your summer flowering bulbs too, they look great in containers and pots. If you plant two or three different layers it will create an impactful seasonal display. Alternatively you can pack full with the same variety of bulbs for a simple but spectacular statement. Think about Dahlias, there are so many varieties and make for great cut flowers too.
Your Sow-Grow-Eat plans should now be well under way. Mid month is a good time to plant onions, shallots and early potatoes (see another handy blog on seed potatoes here). Time spent in the greenhouse sewing vegetables and salad seeds will provide not only a great harvest, but 100% satisfaction when you can eat what you have put such hard work into. If you dont have a lot of room why not plant up herbs such as pots of mint, tarragon, thyme and rosemary. You could try growing vegetables you have never grown before, there are so many fantastic new varieties available which are often very forgiving!
Plant Summer flowering bulbs
Summer flowering bulbs create a great show of colour and help to attract bees & butterflies into your garden. They look great in borders amongst evergreen shrubs and perrenials or use containers and pots, to make for a very versatile garden that you can move around! Dahlias, and Lillies are great options with many types on offer of varying colour and sizes.
Plant onions and shallot sets.
Its time to get ahead with veg! They prefer a sunny position with well drained soil. Its well worth preparing the soil well prior to planting, for onions spacing 10-15cm apart and 30cm between each row, for shallots space 18cm apart and 30 cm between each row. The tip of each bulb should be just protruding through the surface of the soil if planted at the correct depth.
Keep weeds under control.
As the temperatures start to increase be sure to keep existing and emerging weeds under control with regular hoeing and mulching, it’s a great time to keep ahead of those weeds if the ground conditions allow!
Sow aubergines, chillies and tomatoes.
Its time for more sowing! Think of the delicious harvest that lies ahead. Tomatoes, aubergines & chilli's need a long growing season due to our unpredicatable climate so it’s a great time to start them now. For the best results sow them under glass to get good strong seedlings ready for planting out.
Start sowing hardy annuals outdoors.
Providing the conditions are not too cold and wet, you can now start sowing hardy annuals. Prepare the soil well prior to sowing, removing weeds and raking it to a fine tilth. The soil does not need enriching for this job. For a great show we suggest California Poppies which offer very easy care blooms or Wallflowers which like a sunny well drained spot.
Top dress planted pots with fresh compost.
Permanently planted pots can be revitalised by scraping away the top layer of compost and replacing with new compost gently mixing in with a fork or trowel.
Keep slugs at bay.
Slugs start to appear as the temperatures improve. Keep an eye on young shoots in particular as these are most favoured by slugs. It's best to have a plan to keep them away for the whole season using various slug preventions before the damage begins.
Deadhead Hydrangeas before new growth appears.
Buds for the new seasons growth are protected from the elements throughout the winter by the spent blooms. As temperatures begin to improve now is the time to remove any dead leaves and flowers to ensure the plant diverts it energy back to the new growth. Ensure you snip last seasons foliage away well above the new buds.
Care for your indoor plants.
It's important to give your house plants a health check. Check for disease or insect infestation so you can act appropriately before what ever it is takes hold! It's good habit to start checking your indoor plants for water now too. Those which love humidity might look sad fairly quickly if they become too dry as the weather starts to warm up. Check the top inch of soil for moisture and water accordingly to the variety you have if it feels particularly dry.
Deadhead spring flowering bulbs.
At the end of the month start to deadhead any Spring flowering bulbs that are spent. Be sure to leave the foliage to die back naturally so that the goodness goes back into the bulb for next year's spring flourish.