Now that the propagating season in the UK is truly upon us March is where it starts to become a busy time. All of the dormant plants are coming back to life and the green is returning to the land. This does mean that we need to keep on top of it as a few jobs left undone can lead to a lot of work later on. Here is a short list of tasks that you should be thinking of doing this month but as with anything you need to pick your battles and don’t feel that it’s too onerous, small steps will keep everything in check. If you want to get ahead then look at next month here.
- Check your seeds as this is the time that many tender and half hardy annuals will be sown under cover
- Propagation both with seeds and tuber cuttings from dahlias should be in full swing now.
In the garden
- Things will certainly be starting to grow again to take the opportunity to divide overgrown perennials
- Lawns will probably be needing a first cut around now but make sure you start on a long cut
- Then give the edges a trim to neaten them up
- This is a good time to plant roses and to prune established ones before the leaves unfurl
- Any weeds will be putting on growth now so keep on top of them to make life easier as the year progresses
- If you’ve Cornus (dogwood) or Salix (willow) then cut them now so that you have fresh growth for a good winter display later on
- Our best friends the slugs and snails are going to be on the hunt for food so keep an eye on fresh young seedlings.
- Keep and eye on diseases and fungal rot in greenhouses and other protected structures
- Mulch and hoe or hand pick weeds as they’ll be starting to grow with vigor
- Deadhead daffodils as they fade, but leave the foliage to die naturally. The plant will need these to store energy for next year.
- Top dress alpines with gravel to help prevent stem rot and to show them off nicely
- Remove netting from ponds that was there to protect against Autumn leaf fall
In the vegetable plot
- Start to warm the soil with a mulch or cloches to that earlier seeds get a good start
- Get sowing radishes, beets and carrots so that you can have good successional crops throughout the year. Repeat this every few weeks.
- Onion and shallot sets are good to plant now
- Start or continue to force rhubarb for the best early tender crops.
- Keep on top of the weeds