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Tuesday 5 March 2019

This Month in Your Garden - March

‘Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.’ -  Elizabeth Bowen

Whatever the weather, March is going to be a busy month because nature is irrepressible and once winter has bowed out around mid-March the show begins. Assuming you don’t have a carpet of snow, early month is usually best approached with general tasks of clearing and preparation, cutting back and tidying up. Hedges need trimming back before birds start nesting.

Pruning large flowering clematis, roses and buddleias gets them off to a good start for the summer. Dogwoods (Cornus) and willows (Salix) cut back now will put on a colourful winter display. Dividing and planting herbaceous perennials will add to your border display throughout the season.

Dig out geranium clumps and use a couple of garden forks back to back to prise them apart, discarding the central portion and planting up the young outer portions. You can do the same with your plants for autumn colour such as Michaelmas daisies, solidagos, helenium, rudbeckia and other varieties.

Don’t forget containers, they can do with a top dressing of fresh compost. Take out some of the old and in with the new. Summer flowering bulbs need to go in and you’ve noticed the weed proliferation has begun so out with the hoe and in with the mulch.  Sow A-Z hardy annuals: alyssum, calendula, candytuft, to sweet peas, Virginia stock and viscaria and everything in between, following the instruction on the seed packet. You’re off to a good start!

  • Succession plant Gladioli and Montbretias in late March onwards for a long display   
  • Plant shallots, onion sets and seed potatoes
  • Spray apple and other fruit trees to deal with insects and fungal disease
  • Sow annuals for the greenhouse (heated) for plants in May
  • Protect new shoots from slugs
  • In a mild area sow peas, broad beans, parsnips and carrots.
  • Prepare beds for sowing vegetable seeds 
  • Feed fruit trees, canes and bushes with sulphate of potash
  • Spray apple and other fruit trees to deal with insects and fungal disease

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