March Gardening

Soil which was ridged during the winter can now be forked over and raked down to a finer degree for the arrival of plants and seeds.

Make a check around the garden and re-firm any plants which have been loosened by the frosty weather. Paths and crazy paving should be laid at this time of year and existing ones examined for repairs. Any wooden supports on which roses or climbers are growing should be checked over and any diseased or rotting wood replaced.

Flower Garden

Fork over the borders and keep them as weed-free as possible and move or plant any perennials necessary. Sow seeds of clarkia, coreopsis, godetia, lupins, poppies, sweet sultan and sweet peas. By the end of the month it will be possible to plant seeds of alyssum, anemone, calendula, china asters, nasturtiums, stocks and sunflowers. The latter will be useful for making a screen for cutting off the compost heap from the rest of the garden. Dormant dahlias and chrysanthemums which have been stored during the winter can now be planted out at the same time placing suitable stakes in position. These will not shoot for some weeks by which time frost danger should be over. Gladioli corms can be set into holes in which a handful of sand has been added. These should be planted at a depth of 6” as this will help to support their tall flowering stem later on.

Weed over rock gardens carefully and sprinkle some fine gravel around the plants. New alpines can be planted now.

Hydrangea heads left from last season’s flowers can now be removed. These should have been left on the plants until now to protect the next season’s flower buds from frost damage.

Lawn Care

Choosing the dryest times during this month mowing begins, firstly with the mower blades set very high. Before mowing takes place the lawn should be well brushed to remove any fallen leaves or rubbish which will upset the efficiency of the mower. Perhaps only two cuttings will be necessary this month and in each case the grass should not be cut too short.

Rose Garden

If new roses are still to be planted this should be done as early as possible this month.

Hybrid tea and floribunda roses should be pruned and the off-cuts burned.

Greenhouse

Depending of course on the weather, it may be necessary to paint the greenhouse glass with some shading liquid towards the end of the month.

Begonia corms which have been resting during the winter can now be started off in seed boxes. The corms should be half buried in light soil. Very soon they will begin to shoot when they can be potted up separately. Continue to take cuttings of geraniums and fuchsias and if this has already been done the rooted cuttings can be individually potted.

Seeds of bedding plants wanted for eventual transplanting into the borders can be sown in boxes of John Innes compost and as soon as they have germinated placed as near to the glass as possible to discourage them from becoming spindly.

Bulbs which have finished flowering in pots can now be cleared away and preferably dug into an odd corner of the garden so that the foliage can die back naturally and the bulbs mature.

Fruit Garden

Any fruit trees which are coming into blossom growing against walls should be protected from the birds with black cotton and the surrounding ground hoed thoroughly.

This is the last month to prune fruit trees and it should be done as soon as possible. Any planting of new fruit trees must also be finished before the month ends as this will be the last chance until autumn.

Spraying the fruit trees with a solution of lime sulphur before the blossom opens will do much to deter pests.

Trees which have made little growth during- the past year will benefit from a mulch of stable manure but this should not be necessary around trees which have made vigorous growth.

Strawberries can be planted this month if this was not taken care of in the previous autumn, but these should not however be allowed to fruit this season.

Vegetable Garden

Green vegetables which have run to seed following the winter can now be discarded and the ground around all plants well hoed.

Two year old asparagus crowns should now be planted into their pre-prepared bed and remember that no cutting should be made this season.

Lift and divide roots of mint and chives and then replant them.

Sowings of-broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, french beans, leeks, lettuces, onions, parsnips, peas and turnips can be made.

Broad beans grown earlier in boxes can now be planted out together with another sowing of seed potatoes.

It is of course still rather early to be sure of the weather and if found necessary glass cloches may be used to protect young growing plants.

The Pond

Plans can now be made for the introduction into the garden of a pond, either made on the site with concrete or already made in fibreglass and delivered ready for sinking. A hole large enough for the pool may be excavated this month and a little thought should go into the placing so that it is not beneath overhanging trees whose leaves will fall into the water when autumn comes. When the construction has been completed it should be filled with water and aerating plants can be introduced. If this work is completed this month the water will have a chance to warm up sufficiently for the eventual planting of water lilies during May or June.

27. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Tags: , , | Comments Off on March Gardening

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