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Wednesday 8 March 2023

This Month in your Garden – March

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

Out with the hoe. The first colourful signs of spring, the crocuses, primulas and daffodils are inevitably accompanied by the fast growth of weeds in borders. Chopping them with a hoe is a great way to keep them at bay and requires less effort than digging.

However, borders that were dug over in autumn and winter will have benefitted from frost action breaking down the soil. So, it’s a good idea to fork them over and mix in organic matter, your own garden compost or farmyard manure, and introduce other fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure. 

While you will probably wait until April before planting perennials and biennials, and later for annual bedding, you can be planting out Sweet Peas grown in autumn or January or sowing seeds. Calendula and cornflower can also be direct sown. Under glass in the greenhouse or cold frame there is a long list of perennials like antirrhinums, delphiniums, hollyhocks, penstemons, lupins and pinks you can sow if you want the cottage garden look. 

Take spring cuttings of tender bedding plants such as pelargoniums, marguerites and petunias to increase your stock and plant layered carnations, chrysanthemums, dahlias, pansies and violas. Continue to prune bush and climbing roses and cut back dogwood (Cornus) and willow (Salix).

  • Start fuchsias into growth and take cuttings
  • Use Nematodes or organic slug pellets to reduce snail and slug population
  • Lift and divide overgrown perennials
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs in the ground or containers  
  • Split polyanthus after flowering to make several plants
  • Plant snowdrops ‘in the green’
  • Plant lily of the valley
  • Pot up chrysanthemums


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