Time to get busy – it’s March!

The garden really starts to wake up this month and many perennials are starting to push through the soil and spring bulbs such as crocus are at their best. It’s also a time to prune many shrubs and to get the garden ready for the new growing season.

Prune dogwoods down to ground level

  • Many shrubs such as dogwood, willow, buddleja and sambucus that are grown for their winter stem colour, late summer flowers or attractive foliage can be hard pruned now to encourage strong growth over the summer.
  • Early March is the ideal time to prune rose bushes, just as the buds are starting to swell. Cut out any dead, disease or damaged branches first and then you can shape and prune back the healthy stems. Where possible, cut back to just above a bud and remember the harder you cut back, the more vigorous the rose will grow.
  • For a simple but effective spring hanging basket, plant several pale yellow primroses, edges with variegated ivy cascading down the basket and enjoy it in the spring sunshine.
  • Early rhubarb fresh from the garden is absolutely delicious and it can easily be forced into growth by covering an established clump with a forcing pot or old bin to exclude light. The result in a few weeks will be tender sticks that are very sweet.
  • Lawns will soon need their first trim of the season, so make sure that your lawn mower is ready for action and the blades are sharp to give a clean cut. Y
  • When snowdrops have finished flowering, large clumps can be lifted and divided while they are still in the green. This is a great way of spreading the plants around the garden.
  • Towards the end of March you can plant early potatoes in the garden. Plant the tubers approximately 30cm apart and 7.5cm deep. As the new shoots appear protect them from frost.
Plant early tubers at the end of March

Plant early tubers at the end of March