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Your Garden In March

2nd of March 2006

Days are now getting longer and we do need that extra time so that we can get down to some serious work in the garden. Lawns will need fertiliser and weedkiller. If moss is a problem, put on a mosskiller and rake or scarify once the moss has died. Grass will soon be growing and will need regular cutting, but not too short at this stage. Weeds of course will be growing now so do keep on top of the hoeing. On perennial borders weeds can be kept down by putting down landscape fabric and then mulching with a good layer of organic material which will also help conserve water later in the season. Birds are nesting now so leave hedge cutting for the time being. Bare-root hedging plants must be planted before the end of March and so too should other bare-root plants such as raspberry canes. Although container-grown trees and shrubs can be planted throughout the year, a good time to plant is during March and April before they get into their growing season. Evergreen shrubs are best moved at this time of the year. Roses should be pruned now and so too should autumn-fruiting raspberries and shrubs such as cornus and buddleia, as well as forsythia once it has flowered. Herbaceous plants can be planted now and it is a good idea to lift and divide large established plants. Add a fertiliser such as Toprose to roses, herbaceous plants and shrubs, and an ericaceous fertiliser to rhododendrons, heathers, camellias and azaleas. In the vegetable garden it’s time to plant out the onion sets and shallots. Early seed potatoes can go in now as can Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus roots. Broad beans, peas, cabbage, turnips, parsnips, beetroot and spinach can be sown outside now, and so too can salads such as lettuce, onions and radish. The herb bed can be sown or planted now with the exception of tender herbs like sweet basil which will need to be in the greenhouse. The autumn-sown sweet pea plants should be pinched out ready for planting out in the garden later this month. Pansies, violas, primroses, bellis, myosotis and Canterbury bells can be planted out. Gardens should be full of spring colour this month with the daffodils looking good. Once the bulbs finish flowering, remove the dead flower heads and apply a fertiliser but never cut down the leaves until they die down later in the spring. Shrubs such as kerria, forsythia, garrya and chaenomeles should be looking good now.
This is the time of the year when the early spring flower shows start. The Ideal Home Show at Earls Court runs from March 8 – April 2. Our own Horticultural Society’s Spring Show is on Saturday 25 March. It is time to purchase tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show. Members days are May 23 and 24 (phone 0870 906 3780 for tickets) and public days are May 25, 26 and 27 (phone 0870 906 3781) for tickets.
Terry Simmonds
 

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