Jobs for March
The weather can be very fickle at the start of spring and sharp frosts are still a possibility. I advise you not to be tempted to buy bedding plants early unless you have a greenhouse to keep them in. If your soil is light you can start sowing seeds outside this month but if you have heavy, clay soil then wait for it to warm up. While the soil is still moist is an ideal time to apply mulch. You will reap the benefits from this later on in the year as it will help prevent weeds and reduce the need for watering. Now is the ideal time to prune roses and winter shrubs which have colourful stems. Roses can be pruned back hard and dogwoods will have brighter stems next winter if cut back to within a few centimetres of the ground, leaving just one or two buds. Slugs may soon be a problem. Resist the urge to use unfriendly slug pellets and consider using a biological control such as nematodes. These are readily available from adverts in the gardening magazines or purchase from www.defenders.co.uk Lift and divide perennials which are overcrowded. Remove them from the ground and split them into smaller pieces and then replant. Deadhead your daffodils but leave the foliage alone. Although the leaves may start to look untidy they are vital to build up food reserves for next years flowers and must not be cut or tied in knots. Everything will start to grow rapidly this month so consider putting supports around herbaceous plants and you will prevent them flopping around later in the year. Keep an eye out for weeds and hoe them out while they are still small. It is also time to start mowing your lawn again. The joys of spring!
To Do/To Visit
Now is a good time to visit RHS Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB The collection of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and pieris will be out through March and April. It is open daily from 10.00 – 18.00 Telephone number 0845 260 9000 www.rhs.org.uk for more details.