March Garden Notes

As gardens re-awaken after their winter recess, here are a few ideas to prepare for the season ahead.

* Make sure roses are pruned back by the end of the month. If there are any diseased leaves or frost damage to stems take off back to good (i.e. green) wood.

* Start up , clean and service lawnmowers and other garden machinery. Mower specialists are extremely busy from April so you may have a long wait after then if you have any problems.

* Clear ponds: this is so much easier in the dormant period. Divide any overgrown pond marginals and remove leaves general debris and excess sludge.

* The planting season is beginning:

- Chit potatoes and plant out from the end of this month with a quality fertilizer high in potash.

- Start successive sowings of early salad crops such as radish, rocket and beetroot. If cold weather returns, cover with cloches or fleece. Bell-shaped cloches are especially useful for individual specimens. Alternatively, plant in a spare space in the greenhouse. Whatever you use, ventilate well during the day to prevent disease and overheating.

- Sow hardy annuals such as Calendula and Nigella direct to soil and flowering position.

- Plant dahlia tubers in pots to get them ready for planting out after frosts have finished.

- Plant perennials now for maximum growth this year. Alternatively, if you didn’t complete thinning out overgrown perennials beds in the autumn, do it now. Thuggish and vigorous plants are easier to remove before they have their spring growth spurt!

David Hogg and team

All posts