March in the garden – time to get busy!
It starts to get busy at this time of the year in the garden, but the weather in March can be very changeable. Even so there is pruning and other jobs that are best done this month, even if it’s a bit on the cool side!
Leeks are coming to the end of their season now and if left in the ground they will soon start to produce a tough flowering stem from the centre of the plant. Before this happen lift the last of them to clear the ground for new crops.
Rose bushes can be pruned in March before they make too much new growth. With bush roses which includes Hybrid ‘T’s and Floribunda, the golden rule is first to cut out and dead, diseased or damaged wood and them prune back the stronger main stems to between 20-25cm, preferably to an outward facing bud. Weak shoots can be cut back even harden to encourage low growth.
Lawns are also starting to grow and if you’ve not already done it the first cut of the season will be needed very soon. Before mowing rake the lawn to remove any twigs and debris from the lawn. A light rake will also lift the grass and make it easier to cut. Don’t mow too short; simply trim the grass to tidy it up.
Tomato, pepper and aubergine seeds can be sown in a heated propagator in the greenhouse, or on a bright windowsill where it isn’t too cold. Sow the seed thinly on the surface of the compost and then cover with a thin covering (2-3mm) of sieved compost and keep them pots moist all times.
Dogwoods grown for the coloured winter foliage, buddlejas for their summer flowers and sambucus for their attractive summer foliage can all be pruned now. With all of these shrubs last year’s growth needs cutting hard back.
As the days get longer house plants growing indoors will start to make new growth and will benefit from a little extra food. A liquid feed once a fortnight will give them the spring boost they need.
Early varieties of peas and broad beans can be sown outdoor in the garden. Peas need sowing around 2.5cm deep and broad beans 5cm deep.