The great thing about spring approaching is that, even though bad weather may have kept you away from any gardening, there’s still lots happening out there!
In our garden, there’s an abundance of spring bulbs looking ready to burst into bloom very soon. Already, we’ve had some lovely irises (fading now, sadly) and the daffodils are jut beginning to bloom. Little clusters of bright orange crocuses are really cheering up the borders.
Elsewhere, there are signs of what’s to come. There is new growth on the roses and buds a plenty on the cherry blossom trees, too
So – assuming the weather is kind this month, here are some ideas for tasks to do in the garden this March.
Plant some summer bulbs
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.
Sow plants from seeds – both flowers and edibles
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.
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
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.
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
If you have ericaceous shrubs, such as azaleas, camellias, pierus or rhododendrons, now is a good time to give them a good feed with some eircaceous fertliser. 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.
Watch out, as this month one of the gardener’s least favourite friends, those dreaded slugs, could be back on the scene. I spotted my first unwanted guest in the garden this week. Watch out 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. In our garden, we 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 Local Directory for Newton-le-Willows 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 Newton-le-Willows News and a very keen but amateur gardener. I mainly enjoy growing flowers in my small garden in Lowton. You can follow my garden on Instagram @gandtgarden.