March Gardening Tasks

Friday 01 March 2019

There's always something to be doing in the garden, whether it's pruning, tidying or sowing, so we've put together our top gardening tasks for March.

March is the beginning of the busy season, the job list lengthening with the daylight. It can be a month of contrasts, too, with wind and frost set to challenge the first of spring growth. Knuckle down and complete winter work to make way for the tasks that are targeted at the growing season.

Essential checklist for March:

  • Protect new spring shoots from slugs

  • Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes

  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs

  • Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials

  • Top dress containers with fresh compost

  • Mow the lawn on dry days (if needed)

  • Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for colourful winter stems

  • Hoe and mulch weeds to keep them under control early

  • Start feeding fish and using the pond fountain; remove pond heaters

  • Prune bush and climbing roses

In the flower garden: 

  • Plant bare root roses.
  • Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a slow-release fertiliser by lightly forking it into the soil surface.
  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as Gladiolus, Lilies and Ranunculus into beds, borders and containers.
  • Sow your flower seeds now so they are ready for planting out in June.

In the veg garden: 

  • Prepare vegetable seed beds by removing all weeds and forking in plenty of compost. Cover prepared soil with sheets of black plastic to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for planting.
  • Towards the end of the month plant your chitted early potatoes outside in the ground. If you don't have enough space for growing potatoes on your plot, why not try potato growing kits for your patio. To find out more growing potatoes in bags or in the ground, take a look at the Thompson & Morgan potato growing guides.
  • Start to direct sow vegetable seeds such as carrots, radishes and lettuce in greenhouse borders or under cloches.
  • Begin chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes on delivery.

In the fruit garden:

  • Plant apple treescherry trees and other fruit trees now in a sunny, sheltered spot.
  • Cut autumn-fruiting raspberry canes to the ground to stimulate new canes, which will fruit in the autumn. Cut the tips of summer-fruiting raspberry canes that have grown beyond the top of their supports; cut just above a bud.
  • Remember to feed your blueberry plants with ericaceous plant fertiliser.
  • Covering your strawberries with a cloche will encourage earlier fruiting.

In the greenhouse:

  • Start sowing your bedding plant seeds now ready to plant out after the last frosts.
  • Sow tomato seeds in a heated greenhouse for early crops. Use our tomato selector guide to help you choose which variety to grow.
  • Bring strawberries under cover for an earlier crop.

Top tip: 

Water butts are a worthwhile investment for the season ahead. Position them under a downpipe to make the most of rainfall.

 

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