Spring is on its way and the garden is waking up. It’s a pleasure to get out in the garden on a sunny day and there’s lots to keep us busy. Work yourself into the growing season by clearing away leaves and twigs from the borders and digging over the soil, avoiding the emerging bulbs. March is a great time to enrich the soil with farmyard manure or a soil-improving mulch. You can apply chipped bark to get a head start on suppressing weeds with the added benefit of conserving moisture.
Cottage garden plants are available in the garden centre this month. Lupins, delphiniums and foxgloves are among the favourites, the latter being a charming low-maintenance plant, blooming in mid-summer, with its wonderful bell-shaped colourful flowers attracting the bees. If you would like to try and grow your own from seed, you will get the best germination results if you use a propagator and transfer the young plants in your flower beds after the frost-free nights. It can be very rewarding to watch them grow. Always read the instructions on the back of the seed packet.
March is a good time to plant shrubs. Fresh new foliage will be developing on most plants, promising a profusion of colours. Just beware of late frosts which could damage new growth if the plants are not covered with horticultural fleece to give them protection.
Prepare for the rose season by tidying up your roses. Use sharp secateurs to remove dead-wood. Miniature or shrub roses often don’t have to be pruned so only tidy them up if needed. Sprinkle some rose feed around the base of the plant. If your roses suffered last year from discoloured leaves and poor blooms that didn’t last long, they would benefit from nutrients this season.
Until next month, happy gardening!