March - March is a time to make a start in the garden. Summer bedding can be sown in the greenhouse and seed potatoes placed in trays to develop shoots.


  • Finish pruning roses
  • Protect new spring shoots from slugs
  • Prepare and rake level areas for sowing seed of hardy annual flowers during March and April
  • Trim the faded flowers from heathers to keep the plants near and compact
  • Sprinkle fertiliser around the base of roses, shrubs, trees and hedging
  • Fork over borders to loosen surface compaction and add in plenty of compost or manure
  • Start weeding before they get out of hand
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs
  • Cut down tall buddleia stems to low shoots emerging down near the base
  • Pick faded flowers and developing seed heads from winter flowering pansies to prolong the display
  • Lift and divide congested snowdrop clumps

Tip: Cut back clematis

Prune clematis at the end of February/beginning of March, cutting long spindly shoots back to fat green buds low down in the brown stems, around 1’ from ground level. If you leave very long stems, the flowers will only appear high up. 

In the greenhouse

  • Buy summer bulbs, such as galtonia and acidanthera and start into growth in pots in the greenhouse
  • Bring compost and growing bags into the greenhouse to warm up before use
  • Keep glazing clean both inside and outside to let in as much light as possible
  • Open vents on warm days to reduce condensation
  • Cover young plants on benches with fleece on cold nights
  • Sow tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, peppers, chillies, okra and aubergines if you have a heated greenhouse

Tip: Prepare for summer

Summer bedding can be sown now to give you decent sized plants for summer. This will give you the greatest range of plants and is cost effective.

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Place seed potatoes in trays in bright frost-free positions to develop shoots
  • Plant shallots and onion sets
  • Finish winter pruning of fruit trees and bushes
  • Bring potted strawberries into the greenhouse
  • Sprat new peach and nectarine leaves with copper fungicide to prevent peach leaf curl
  • Plant up new asparagus beds
  • Sow summer leeks, cauliflowers, celery, celeriac, herbs and tomatoes in a warm greenhouse
  • Crops to sow outside under cloches during February and March include beetroot, early carrots, broad beans, salad onions, peas, spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radish, parsnips and turnips

Tip: Recycle!

Before you put old plastic bottles in the bin, put them to good use in the garden. Large bottles make particularly good mini-cloches for seedlings and young plants. Simply cut off the bottom of the bottle with a sharp knife and remove the top to provide ventilation and prevent the temperature soaring. 

Around the garden 

  • Buy summer bulbs, young plants and seeds
  • Cut back any overgrown ivy that’s become top heavy or started to invade your gardening
  • Lift and divide clumps of perennials
  • Make sure petrol mowers have been serviced and the blades sharpened
  • Put up netting to protect fruit bushes form hungry birds
  • Make space for all of your recyclable garden waste by building extra bins
  • Check garden birds have fresh supplies of drinking water
  • Top dress containers with fresh compost
  • Mow the lawn on dry days
  • Start feeding fish and using the pond fountain; remove pond heaters

Tip: Plant up patio pots

For instant seasonal colour, buy a selection of wallflowers, heathers and pansies and pot them up using a peat-free general purpose compost. Pansies flower for many months if they are deadheaded regularly – simply remove faded blooms prior to forming seed pods. Small evergreens are also available inexpensively such as euonymus and small-leaved trailing ivies.

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Woodlands Nurseries
Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7NJ
Telephone: 015395 67273

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