Garden Diary - March
As we come into the month of march there are a number of different jobs that can be done. With the seasons now beginning to change and the weather becoming cooler and more temperate you can really begin to plant new plants and watch your garden come into its own.
Maintenance & Protection
During March there are still plenty of maintenance jobs that need doing in your garden. This includes tidying up garden and bedding borders and removing any weeds and then filling in any spaces with a high quality compost. It is also a good idea to start using a trowel or a hoe to dig through your plant beds in late March, to get rid of any weeds trying to grow in them. Keep an eye on your lawn as once it begins growing again it will need to be mown to allow for an even growth, this is also a great time to cut back the edges of your lawn. Perennial weeds love to shoot up at this time of year and getting to them early can make dealing with them a lot easier, by digging up any and all bits of their roots you can find. There are a number of various different tools that are ideal for this job.
Pests can be a big problem in march, as new plants are just beginning to thrive and all the little bugs and animals are looking for as much energy as possible for the coming spring. If you spot any pests on your plants then you should treat this problem with a pest control product asap, to stop any infestations getting out of control. Pests can show up on the new shoots of various plants and these need to be removed or risk damage to your new plants. You can also give your plants an extra layer of protection by covering them with a fleece or cloches, this is perfect for plants that suffer especially from pests during this season, such as protecting carrots from root flies. Keep your eyes open for any white spots on your plants as these could be the infamous mealy bugs hiding amongst your plants.
When it comes to your greenhouse there are a few things you should be doing in March, including taking down any bubble wrap insulation that you may have put up during the colder months. Now that we are heading into spring it is also time to be weary of mice, if you are growing crops inside of your greenhouse mice could be a real issue. Also keep an eye on the weather as on sunny days you are going to want to keep your greenhouse ventilation open so that there isn’t a build up of humidity. Keep an eye open for any slugs, you can keep slugs off of your plants with various anti-slug products.
Now is a great time to do any prep work for anything you need in your garden for the coming seasons. Such as buying a new compost bin for the coming season's garden waste, installing a water feature or a pond to increase wildlife in your garden. Looking over your garden it is important to make sure that any garden fixtures are still properly installed. Keep an eye on any stakes you are using, checking them to make sure they are still planted solidly in the ground. That plants that are attached to supports or tree ties are still firmly attached, while not being too tight. If you have been putting out food for any critters or birds in your garden, then it is a good idea to keep doing this to help with their nesting seasons.
Encouraging Plant Growth & Flowering
There are a few things you can do before spring to help get a truly beautiful bloom and a bumper crop. Such as sprinkling multi-purpose compost over beds of flowers, shrubs, hedges, etc to give them a burst of life. Although you will want to be careful with this as there are a number of lime hating plants that will instead thrive with an ericaceous fertiliser, plants like azaleas, camelias, rhododendrons, etc. If you have canna lilies that you are keeping over the winter, then these can be replanted into fresh compost, watered and left in a warm spot.
A number of different fruit and vegetables will benefit from a high quality, nitrogen rich feed that will help them to thrive and produce a large amount of crop in the coming months. This includes plants like most fruit trees, blackcurrants, cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, etc. It is also a good idea to cut back any winter-flowering jasmine you have, both to keep it within its area and to help the plant focus its energy on flowering instead of growing.
When it comes to pruning in March there are a few plants to keep an eye on but now you are mostly waiting for your plants to shoot up in the coming spring and preparing them for this as best as you can. When it comes to woody plants such as willows, dogwood, cotinus, etc, you will want to prune these down right to their base to help their new shoots to grow. If you have any trees or shrubs with damaged branches, then these should be cut off to prevent diseases and rot. For these sorts of plants you are going to want a tool that is capable of cutting tougher plants, such as high quality saws and shears
There are plants such as spring bulbs, spring flowering plants and spring bedding that need to have their seed-heads cut off to help encourage more vigorous flowering. Similarly roses should be kept trimmed back for the same reasons. If you have any alpine plants then March is a great time to neaten them up and remove any dead foliage in time for spring. For these smaller more delicate plants, a high quality hand pruner can make all of the difference.
With spring just around the corner now is a great time to plant a large number of flowers, fruits, vegetables and many other plants! We’ll cover everything you might possibly want to plant, so that you are ready for spring. Starting with something you will thank yourself for later, a bountiful herb garden that can be planted in containers outside in partial cover, by a wall or on a windowsill, etc. Keep in mind that the closer you keep them to your kitchen, the quicker it’ll be to grab some to add a burst of fresh flavour to your food.
When it comes to crops, there’s a number of different plants that you can be planting in March, such as onions, shallots or other similar plants which can be planted in a bed, container or pot but remember to keep them around 10-15cm apart. Potatoes can be planted in a vegetable plot, large bed or tub, they should be planted into shallow dug trenches and even better if the potatoes have been chitted. In a similar way parsnips can also be planted, as long as the weather has started to warm up. Asparagus crowns can be planted in any soil that is well-drained and where it will get a lot of sun. Likewise strawberries will also thrive under these conditions, although they are more of a target from slugs and other pests. To counter this you can plant strawberries in hanging baskets or use various pest control products. If you are going to plant a fruit tree then be sure to plant it within a solid large container, as otherwise the tree will continue growing and growing and require pruning year after year.
When it comes to other plants, summer-flowering bulbs can be planted in pots or borders, for a beautiful bloom in summer. Shrubs, climbing plants and roses will also thrive when planted in March, make sure to plant them in a spot where you can easily prune them, as they can easily get out of hand. If you are keeping any bulbs or flowers inside then these can be moved outside and planted in borders or pots once their bloom has ended. Make sure to keep your new plants watered and supplied with a nutrient rich feed.
For sowing seeds and planting cuttings there are a variety of options in march, we’ll cover all the options that are available to you. If you need any propagation supplies then we have a wide range of high quality products! Hardy annuals that will thrive in March, in beds or pots, annuals such as poppies, cornflower and Nigella. Why not make the most out of your local wildflowers that are native to your area, collect or purchase their seeds and then plant them in trays to create your own blooming wilds.
Next when it comes to fruit and vegetable plants there are a number of seeds and cutting that will flourish. Starting with peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and chillies which will thrive when planted in pots inside or somewhere else safe and warm. Also vegetables such as celery, lettuces, celeriac, etc can be planted inside to then be moved outside later. When it comes to growing vegetables outside there are only a few hardy vegetables that will grow well when planted early in the season and they should still be covered in some form of insulation such as fleece or cloches. Hardy vegetables include plants such as garden peas, brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, carrots and other members of the bracias family.
Furthering this there are a few plants which can be grown in March when they are grown inside or in a heated propagator to then later be moved outside when the weather gets warmer. This includes annual climbers that can be sown inside or in a greenhouse under strict conditions where they are kept warm and moist in pots, to then be transferred later.
Bedding plants will flourish somewhere warm, growing to a much larger size. Coleus and basal cuttings from perennials will thrive when planted somewhere warm, as will Freesia bulbs that are planted into a loam-based compost.
That covers all of the jobs that we have for march, hopefully they have kept you busy and your garden thriving! Check back next month for jobs that you can be doing in April. And why not check out our gardening range while you're at it, to make sure you have all of the supplies you need for the coming month!
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