The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 3 March 2014

This Month in your Garden – March

The arrival of spring…

Usually it can be said that spring arrives in mid-March so there is much to be done in the in preparation, weather permitting! Seize the moment if there are good days early in the month for those general tasks.

Sowing and planting of vegetables and flowers will soon be upon you. Now is usually the best time to transplant herbaceous plants, such as Michaelmas daisies, heleniums, rudbeckias, solidagos and other vigorous spreading varieties. You can split these by hand or break up larger clumps using two border forks back-to-back, discarding the hard, central portions and keeping the young outer pieces. Replant using a spade or trowel.

Lawn Care Guide – March

What is top dressing?

We think of mowing grass for the purpose maintaining an area of the garden as lawn. Mowing, however, also has an effect on the composition of the turf. While some grasses and weeds die back when they are cut very short, others can thrive with close mowing.

Dividing grasses into groups you have the low-growing narrow leaf types such as fescue and agrostis and taller broad leaf kinds, the perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne) and smooth stalk meadow grass (Poa pratensis). Usually your grass will be a mixture of both fine and coarse grasses.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. Are there any particular lawn weedkillers you can recommend to use at home? Chris. 

The Vegetable Plot – March

Let’s get sowing

In early March you can make the first small sowing of summer spinach and, as alliterative as that sounds, ideally sow into a sheltered border with a southern aspect. Sow thinly in drills 1” (25mm) and 1ft (300mm) apart. You can make more successional sowings later.

Maincrop onions sown in drills will benefit from plenty of farmyard manure beneath them whilst on top wood ash can be mixed with the soil to lighten it and let the bulbs swell.

The Big Glut Recipe – March

Mouth-watering rhubarb crumble

What could be simpler and as comforting? 

  • 12 sticks of rhubarb
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 8 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 110gm/4oz butter
  • 110gm/4oz Demerara sugar
  • 200g/7oz plain flower