March In Your Garden
We have had a real winter this year and let’s hope we get a good spring so that we can catch up and get on with things.
Vegetables and fruit
If the ground has dried out and warmed up start to sow beet, broad beans, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, spinach and turnips together with salad crops. Start to plant early seed potatoes that have been chitted together with onion sets, shallots and Jerusalem artichokes. When sowing or planting, add growmore fertilizer. Raspberry canes must be planted this month. Cut back blueberries, prune autumn fruiting raspberries and feed fruit trees with sulphate of ammonia.
Flowers and shrubs
Start to prune roses, late flowering clematis, dogwoods and buddleia and give hedges a trim before the birds start to nest. Cut down, divide and plant hardy herbaceous perennials, staking the taller growing varieties. Move any established shrubs this month and plant new hedges of privet, beech, hornbeam and quickthorn. Feed roses and shrubs with something like Toprose fertilizer and camellias and rhododendrons will need an ericaceous feed. Plant pansies, Canterbury bells, sweet peas and sweet williams. Plant lily bulbs and gladioli and sow clarkia, godetia, eschscholzia, nigella and larkspur in the garden. Keep up with weeding, pest control and protect vulnerable plants from damage by late frosts.
Sow aubergines, cucumbers, melons, peppers and tomatoes together with alyssum, busy lizzy, lobelia, marigolds and petunias. Pot up plug plants and also summer flowering bulbs such as begonias and glozinias. Take cuttings of dahlias, geraniums and pelargoniums. Keep the glass clean at this time of the year and check for pests and diseases at all times.
Lawn and garden
As long as the lawn is not frozen or too wet start to cut with the mower set fairly high. Spike and aerate and then apply a fertilizer (with weedkiller and mosskiller) such as Evergreen. New grass areas can be sown once the soil warms up and turf can be laid. Clean out the pond as soon as possible. Tidy up the garden and keep on top of the weeding and keep adding plant material to the compost heap.
The Chipperfield Spring Flower Show takes place on 23 March while Bovingdon and Sarratt have theirs on 6 April. The R.H.S. London Plant Fair is on 26-27 March in the royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster. The 100th Chelsea Flower Show is 21-25 May; tickets from rhs.org.uk/chelsea or tel: 0844 338 7526.