Hopefully spring will arrive sometime during March enabling us to get busy with various tasks including seed sowing!
Make use of dry spells by giving the shed, playhouse and fence a fresh coat of paint, this will both enhance its appearance and help protect the wood from rotting.
Remove algae from path ways by either pressure washing or applying a decent surface cleaner, and pull any early emerged weeds to stop them taking hold and multiplying.
Keep on top of pests and disease by regularly checking plants and compost for infestations and address any problems immediately, pay particular attention to the possibility of vine weevil grubs as they kill off all your plants by eating through their roots.
Open doors and ventilate greenhouses on warmer days.
Check whether containers and pots require watering, keep them moist but not overly wet, you could add some primroses to pots for seasonal colour.
Pruning and Planting
Now is the best time for planting roses, particularly in heavy soils or colder areas, avoid planting rose bushes where you have previously grown them.
Feed roses with a granular rose food once they are showing growth.
Trim winter flowering heathers as the blooms fade to keep the plants tight and compact.
Cut back cornus and salix that were grown for winter stem colour.
Delay pruning tender evergreens or spring flowering shrubs until next month but you can cut back winter flowering jasmine and any overgrown climbers such as honeysuckle, ivy or Virginia creepers.
Plant summer flowering bulbs: such as gladioli, dahlia, lily and croccosmia.
Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials for example hostas and remove older leaves from helleborus to expose more flower. Remember to protect the new spring growth of perennials from slugs.
You will need to give your lawn its first cut of the year. This should be done with the mower blade on a high setting during a mild day.
From the end of March onwards you can apply a high nitrogen fertiliser to encourage strong growth.
Use a half moon edging iron to straighten the lawn edges.
Birds and Ponds
Sunflower hearts and Nyger seed will appeal to smaller birds such as finches, tits and wrens.
Why not put up a bird box and see if you can attract some birds to nest in it.
Start feeding fish, little and often.
Take out the pond heater and clean filters, remove any netting that was used to catch falling leaves and cut back marginal plants.
Fruit and Vegetables
Sow vegetable seeds when the weather turns warmer, broad beans, carrots, spinach, leeks and peas are just a few to get started.
Garlic, onion sets and shallots also need to be planted out if mild.
Early sowings of pepper, cucumber and tomatoes under glass is always a good idea, peppers in particular benefit from a head start, alternatively purchase established plants next month.
First early potatoes can be planted towards the end of March weather depending, although it may be best to wait a week or two.
Plant of the Month
Sweet Pea- Not because it is flowering now but because it is time to sow the seed. Many new types and old established varieties are available so let’s all grow a great British favourite! They are so easy to grow with minimal effort and you will be rewarded with scented flowers throughout the summer, I promise…
Call in and have a chat and use our knowledge to gain inspiration from our Grow- Your- Own display in store providing you with tips and advice on growing vegetables, herbs and flowers. We have all you need from seed trays to grow bags, from grow houses to plant labels with many products on special offer and multi buys deals.