March in the Garden

February brought torrents of rain so it was a welcome sign of spring to see the sun shine at the beginning of March. Looking at the daffodils, crocuses, camellias and hellebores in full bloom and with a stretch in the evenings, we are all looking forward to getting out in our gardens again.

There are lots of things to do if the ground isn’t too waterlogged. Deciduous shrubs and trees can still be moved for next couple of weeks. I will cut back Cornus, clear weeds and add compost to beds. Most of my roses were pruned in November. However I have one that I missed and must get at it immediately. St Patrick’s Day has always been the cut off day for pruning them. I will divide over-sized perennial plants over next couple of months. I also need to cut back autumn raspberries and blueberries.

Begonias corms have been taken from their storage , potted up and put indoors. Seed potatoes are already chitting. First Earlies can be planted out later in the month. It’s time to look at sowing some seeds. March is a good time to plant beetroot, parsnips, turnips, carrots, french beans, broccoli, cauliflower and salad crops. These can be planted direct in the ground. Because my garden has heavy soil I am planting seeds for these vegetables in seed trays or small pots. I have put them in the greenhouse and when ready I will transfer into the vegetable patch. In previous years this worked much better for me. I’ve also sown tomato seeds, peppers and chilies. My favorite fruit in a fruit salad are Cape Gooseberries. Their seeds have been in the propagator a couple of weeks and no sign of growth yet. When harvested in August/October they last for a long time in the fridge. If you like them they are a well worth growing in the greenhouse, either in the ground or pots and take up very little space. I had some difficulty getting the seeds this year. Having no luck in three garden centers I was delighted to get them in Woodies.

It is important that the greenhouse is ventilated on a warm days. With the automatic roof openers, which are included in the price of all Landmark greenhouses, there is never any worry about this. The roof vents open and close automatically with cylinders filled with beeswax, depending on the temperature inside the greenhouse and are of great benefit. These cylinders should be taken out in the winter months as they may freeze.