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  • Sue

Things to do in March

March is busy and there can be a lot to do in your garden, depending on what you grow., so here is a selection of the most important jobs to be getting on with:

Now is a good time to move perennials around the garden - either because they are in the wrong place or because they are big enough to divide, giving you extra plants for free. I always try and get all perennials moved before the clocks change later this month. Don't forget to water well after moving and to keep watering them well until they have settled in to their new home.

It is also a good time to divide and re-plant “in the green” snowdrops, aconites and daffodils.

Deadhead your daffodils once they have flowered - just remove the flowerhead leaving the green stem to help bulk up the bulb for next year. Don't even think about cutting back the leaves of any spring bulbs until they have died back as you need them to bulk up their bulbs for next year's display.

Pruning is important now - as a general rule, prune shrubs which flower in the first half of the year as soon as they have finished flowering. This is because they flower on the previous year's growth - so growth put on this spring and summer will bear flowers next spring. You should already have pruned winter flowering jasmine nudiflorum (the one with yellow flowers) and soon it will be time to prune forsythia, flowering currants, coronilla, viburnum bodnantense and many more. If in doubt as whether or how to prune a particular shrub or not have a look on line to be sure.

This photo is of a flowering currant which must be pruned once the flowers have faded.

Seed sowing starts in earnest - again check the packet as that will give clear instructions, including whether to sow into trays first, whether heat is required to kick start germination and whether you can sow the seeds outside in their flowering/growing position. Now is the time to sow (among others) tomato seeds, parsnips, beetroot, salads, chard, spinach, spring onions, potatoes as well as cosmos, zinnias, ipomoeas, nasturtiums, marigolds, poppies.....the list goes on.

You can start to turn your attention to grasses - deciduous grasses should be cut back and evergreen grasses should be combed through to remove dead leaves. As the soil gets warmer at the end of the month (i.e. after the clocks have changed) grasses can be moved as they need to wait to be moved until the soil warms up to help establish their root runs.

Summer flowering bulbs/tubers can be planted - dahlias, lilies, eucomis, begonias.

If the weather is wet and you have to stand on the soil then stand on a board to spread your weight and avoid compacting the soil - and if it is unseasonably dry, then you may need to water plants in pots.

As you work around the borders moving plants and having a general tidy up weed and then mulch afterwards to feed the soil and help retain moisture.

The last photo - tidying, sowing, mulching and weeding. It all happens in March.

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