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White iberis and blue muscari flowers around the base of a tree

Gardening jobs for March

by Editor
After a very wet February, let’s hope that the spring sunshine soon makes an appearance, as well as all those spring bulbs that are looking so full of promise at the moment.
So far I have some lovely blue irises, some purple and white crocuses and a couple of lovely yellow nodding daffodils… with more on the way, I hope.

Container with dark blue and light blue irises

And, with Spring officially just around the corner, I’m hoping that this month will bring the opportunity for many happy hours pottering out in the garden.

Here are just some of the tasks on my to-do list:

Plant some summer bulbs

Yellow lily flower in full bloom

Plant lily bulbs now for easy summer flowers.

With lots of tempting bulbs in the shops now, why not think about summer colour and get those bulbs in the ground now? It’s a really easy and low cost way to brighten up your beds later in the year.

Some of the easiest and most colourful are lilies, begonias and gladioli – and once they’re in the ground, they’re pretty low maintenance, too.

Sow plants from seeds – both flowers and edibles

Dahlia seedlings growing on the windowsill

There are so many plants you can get started from seed this month. All you need is a sunny greenhouse or a warm windowsill to give them a kick start. Some flower ideas include nasturtiums, poppies, dahlias and one of my big favourites – cosmos. And for the veg patch – you can kick off your chilli plants and tomatoes now, to ensure they’re ready to give you the longest possible cropping time this year. Chillis and tomatoes will need to be grown under glass or indoors for now, it’s too cold for them to be planted straight out. But you can plant broad beans, beetroot and rainbow chard straight outside this month, ready for a summer crop. If, like me, you like growing your own salad leaves, you can start this now – indoors probably best for the time being.

Bring dahlia tubers out of ‘hibernation’

Dahlia tuber that has been stored over winter

If you lifted and stored your dahlia tubers after the first frosts last year, now’s the time to start bringing them back to life.

I keep my dahlias wrapped in newspaper in the garage over the winter, and wake them up by potting them up in March and bringing them indoors to warm up and start to sprout new shoots. I only plant them out a few months later, when they’ve put on some significant growth, as I’ve learnt to my cost that slugs LOVE to eat my young dahlia plants!

Dig for victory! 

This top tip comes from Liz Brown, one of the members of our Support Local in Lowton, Golborne, Newton-le-Willows & Culcheth Facebook group. Liz has an allotment plot up at Bents Garden Centre and says: “My tip is to do some double digging to get rid of any perennial weeds such as mare’s tail. It’s much easier to do a major weed between November and the end of March. I have a spade called a root slayer. I would recommend it if  you’re doing a lot of digging in overgown areas. Once you’ve done a year or two of double digging, you can then go to ‘no dig’ gardening.”

Get a start on the veg patch

Onions growing in a raised bed

If you are growing your own veg, March is a good time to plant shallots, onions and potatoes. There’s some good advice on the RHS website on how to do this if you haven’t before.

It may even be time for the first grass cut of the season

gardener mows lawn in garden

You may be able to do your first lawn mow of the season this month. For the first cut, keep the blades high. It’s also a good idea to tidy up lawn edges which can really smarten up the overall appearance of your borders. Don’t want to do it yourself? Why not ask one of the gardeners listed in our Local Directory to take the strain?

Give your plants a good feed to set them up for the season

Pieris Forest Flame in flower

If you have ericaceous shrubs, such as azaleas, camellias, pieris or rhododendrons, now is a good time to give them a good feed with some ericaceous fertiliser. Similarly, its a good idea to add new compost or well-rotted manure to your flower beds and containers. You can also work in some general purpose fertiliser to give them even more of a boost.

Guard against the return of the pests!

Slug in the garden

Watch out, as this month one of the gardener’s least favourite friends, those dreaded slugs, could be back on the scene. Look for damage to spring shoots and choose your favourite slug barrier method to protect them. Nematodes are an option but the soil needs to be warm enough first. Choose a method that’s kind to the environment and other, friendlier garden visitors before you choose slug pellets if you can. I must admit, I do love a beer trap (they’re gross, but effective) and there are some other great ideas here.

In need of some help in your garden?

Check out the local gardening companies we have listed in our Lowton and Golborne Directory if you need help in the garden – from mowing the lawn to total landscaping projects.

About the author:

My name is Gemma. I’m the editor of Lowton & Golborne News and a very keen but amateur gardener. I like to grow both flowers and edibles, and I’m learning as I go. You can follow my garden on Instagram @gandtgarden.

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