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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.

Continue cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up. Think about applying a top dressing to the lawn. This is best done in early spring to early summer.


If conditions are dry and the grass has put on a growth spurt it may be time to mow, which you need to do before top dressing; but don’t cut the grass too short with the first cut. March is also a good month for turf laying and repairing bare patches in the lawn. See the Gardener’s Journal tips on lawn care.

Place orders for summer-flowering bulbs such as dahlias, canna and eucomis. If you’re in a mild area you could be sowing peas, broad beans, parsnips and carrots. Hedges can be trimmed back before the birds start nesting. Put in plant supports before perennials start growing so that the supports are well covered.

  • Plant lily bulbs and summer flowering bulbs
  • Plant shallots, onion sets and seed potatoes
  • Prune large flowering clematis, roses, stems of dogwoods, willows and buddleias 
  • Top dress containers by adding fresh compost
  • Deal with emerging weeds before they start to take over
  • Feed fruit trees, canes and bushes with sulphate of potash
  • Spray apple and other fruit trees to deal with insects and fungal disease
  • Sow annuals for the greenhouse (heated) for plants in May
  • Sow A-Z hardy annuals: alyssum, calendula, candytuft, to sweet peas, Virginia stock and viscaria and everything in between
  • Succession plant gladioli and montbretias in late March onwards for a long display 

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