March Gardening

Mothering Sunday (22nd March) is the ‘unofficial’ start of the gardening season, and the more frequent sunny days provide a chance to get into the garden and get set for spring. Don’t get carried away, frosts and winds are still frequent, keep overwintered tender plants wrapped up warm.
Tasks for March:
1. As the soil warms up so do the slugs. Protect newly emerging delicate shoots of herbaceous plants, such as Hosta, Delphinium and lupins.
2. Add Fresh Compost: It’s time to top dress all of your containers with fresh compost
3. Keep on top of weeds, as they will complete with garden plants for water and nutrients.
4. Sprinkle a general purpose fertiliser in borders around shrubs and perennials.
5. Use a mower set on a high blade setting to give the lawn a trim, sow grass seed in any bare patches of the lawn.
6. Finish any winter tidying tasks.
7. Prune winter flowering shrubs such as mahonia, heathers, and winter jasmine as soon as flowering has ended. Also prune the colourful stems of Dogwoods (Cornus) and willows (Salix).
For an early crop of new potatoes why not try planting in a bag in your greenhouse or a light, frost free area?
Step one: Empty the contents of a bag of compost (50lts minimum) turn the bag inside out and roll down the sides. Piece some holes in the base of the bag. Place approximately 3” of compost back in the base of the bag and place no more than three chitted seed potatoes into the bag.
Step two: Sprinkle some fertiliser around the potatoes (I use organic ‘Fish, Blood & Bone’) and cover with soil.
Step Three: As the shoots grow continue to cover with the compost, rolling the bag up as you go. The potatoes will be ready to harvest within 10 – 12 weeks (depending on the variety)

This is a good time to assess the performance of spring bulbs, especially daffodils. If you have a clump of daffodils which are blind (without flowers) mark them with a stick for attention. Once the foliage is going over, lift the clump and check them. If they are congested plant back, having first separated the bulbs and plant further apart. Another common cause of blind bulbs is if they are planted too shallow. Ensure when re planting the clump it is a least 3x the depth of the bulb.
Rachel Sobiechowski BSc (Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon Suffolk IP27 0PW
01842 814800 www.p-rgardensupplies.co.uk email: sales@p-rgardensupplies.co.uk

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