Gardening jobs this month: March

What to do in the garden in March, from the gardening experts of Prima and Country Living

From Prima gardening guru Ann-Marie Powell:

■ Continue planting new trees, hedges, climbers and roses.
■ Place orders for summer-flowering bulbs such as dahlias, canna and eucomis.
■ Continue planting lily bulbs.
■ Cut back hedges before birds start to nest.
■ Prune large-flowered clematis.
■ Start to prune roses, removing dead, damaged or diseased stems.
■ Sow sweet peas. Read more on how to sow sweet peas
■ Plant winter aconites and snowdrops ‘in the green’.
■ Keep off the grass during frosty weather.
■ Divide large clumps of hostas before their leaves start to grow. Dig the clump up, then use a spade to slice your clump into several sections, replanting them at their original level.
■ With so much fresh, tender growth around, slugs and snails are in their element. Deal with them now before your plants disappear before your eyes. How to beat slugs the safe way
■ Before your garden begins to break into growth, take a last look at its winter profile. Now is the perfect time to add plants with winter interest, such as berries or bark, for next year.
■ Get your plant supports in before your perennials start to grow, this way your supports will be covered before your plants are performing at full tilt.
■ Plant lilies to fill in any border gaps, or in pots.
■ Prune back the stems of dogwoods, willows and buddleias to produce fresh new growth.
■ Plant new hedges.
■ Feed hedges, trees and shrubs with a general-purpose fertiliser, then mulch around their bases.
■ In mild areas, sow peas, broad beans, parsnips and carrots. Read: how to grow peas from seed
■ Order onion sets, shallots and seed potatoes.
■ Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries back to ground level.
■ Prune fruit trees, removing dead, damaged or diseased branches.
■ Keep feeding the birds.
■ Feed all your fruit trees, canes and bushes with a sprinkling of sulphate of potash.
■ Cover rhubarb with forcing buckets or jars to encourage long, tender stalks.

From Country Living gardening editor Stephanie Donaldson:

■ Rejuvenate congested perennial herbs by dividing the clumps and replanting
■ Dig up parsnips and leeks and heel in until used to allow beds to be cultivated
■ Sow tomatoes, peppers and aubergines from seed in a heated propagator.
■ Sow peas into lengths of guttering ready to slide them into position in the garden later this month
■ Plant potatoes under polythene for an early crop.
■ Feed and mulch fruit trees and soft-fruit bushes.
■ Start successional sowing of root and leaf vegetables.
■ Prepare the bed in the greenhouse for planting out tomatoes in April.
■ Sow cut-and-come-again salads in pots under cover to protect them from the cold.
■ Plant out rooted strawberry runners, removing most of the flowers – a heavy crop in the first year will weaken the plant.
■ Prepare seed beds in fine dry weather and cover with fleece to warm up
■ Give roses their final prune
■ Clean out water butts: a bit of charcoal in the bottom will keep the water sweet
■ Trim and tidy evergreen grasses and cut deciduous grass back to ground level before growth starts
■ Prick out seedlings before true leaves develop
■ Dig in over-wintered green manures in preparation for planting in a couple of weeks
■ Cut back dogwoods, ornamental willows and brambles to within 2cm of the ground.
■ Cut back hardy fuchsias, lavatera, cotinus and Buddleja davidii to between 75cm and 1m.
■ Prune winter jasmine after flowering.
■ Give roses their final pruning and cut out diseased or frost-damaged wood.
■ Plant snowdrops “in the green” when they have finished flowering. They establish far more quickly this way.
■ Divide established clumps of chives.
■ Sprout dahlia tubers in warmth for dividing.
■ Sow hardy annual flowers.
■ Plant gladiolus corms in well-drained soil.
■ In mild weather, give the lawn its first cut with the mower on a high setting, then rake and feed.
■ Apply copper tape to containers to protect plants from slugs and snails.
■ Give hippeastrum bulbs a high potash feed.
■ Divide crowded nerines, remove papery skins and replant with neck just above soil level.
■ Remove dead leaves from bearded irises and cut away any brown leaf tips.

You might also like…

See our gardening calendar for more March gardening jobs
Learn more about gardening techniques
Pick the right plants for the location or the look you want

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