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Monday 2 March 2020

This Month in Your Garden - March

‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now is hung with bloom, along the bough.’
A.E. Houseman, Shropshire Lad

One of the loveliest and earliest of cherries, Prunus incisa Kojo-no-mai, usually begins to blossom in February and is in full bloom in March. It’s a dwarf, growing to about five feet high and lending an oriental touch to the garden. Following the wettest February in six years and lamentable flooding in many parts of the country, we hope this month will turn the corner to the start of spring and drier weather.

Early in the month, you can sow hardy annuals in pots or modules and in mild areas sow in drifts directly into the soil for lovely splashes of colour. If you sowed sweet peas in pots in the autumn in the greenhouse make sure they have plenty of light to grow on; or sow seed outside this month. Summer-flowering bulbs can be planted but make sure the soil is well-drained.

Watch out for slugs on new spring shoots and take remedial action with organic slug pellets or nematodes which are natural slug killers. You can pick them up in packs at the garden centre or order online. You just add them to water and treat the area and you can get them for dealing with leather jackets and vine weevil. Weeds will be appearing so they will need hoeing and a good bark mulch around plants helps keep them at bay.

In the greenhouse, you can be potting up cuttings of tender perennials from last summer. Overgrown clumps of perennials in borders need lifting and dividing. There’s plenty of propagating to be done to bulk out your displays and put on a fine show through the summer. 

  • Plant herbaceous perennials 
  • Prune bush and climbing roses
  • Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials to let new growth through
  • Divide hostas before the leaves grow
  • Feed borders with fertiliser
  • Plant lily bulbs
  • Top dress containers with fresh compost
  • Plant lily bulbs and summer flowering bulbs
  • Prune large flowering clematis, roses, stems of dogwoods, willows and buddleias 
  • Sow annuals in a heated greenhouse for plants in May.

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