There's always something to be doing in the garden, whether it's pruning, tidying or sowing, so we've put together our top gardening tasks for March.
In the flower garden
Order your plug plants now. They're sent at just the right time for planting, and with step by step instructions. You don't even need a greenhouse to grow them on, a sunny back bedroom or windowsill will be enough. When you pot up, add some easy feed or plug boost, so your plants get the very best start. And, another little tip, give the tips a pinch a couple of times while the plants are young, this will make them nice and bushy, with more flowers!
If the soil is workable, dig in a 5cm (or more) layer of compost or well rotted manure into your beds to prepare for the growing season ahead. You can also work in a general purpose fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure or fish, blood and bone.
If you need to move deciduous trees or shrubs, now is the time to do it provided the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
Prune roses to encourage strong new growth. Remember to wear gardening gloves to protect from thorns.
Sow your flower seeds now so they are ready for planting out in June.
Hardy annuals can be sown directly into the soil. Alternatively sow them in pots or module trays for planting out later in the spring.
Begonia tubers that have been started into growth will start to produce new leaves. As leaves appear, pot them up individually.
Hardwood cuttings taken last year may need planting or potting on now.
Prune early-flowering Clematis once their flowers have finished and summer-flowering Clematis before they start into active growth - find out how using our
clematis pruning guide
Finish cutting back shrubs grown for their colourful winter stems such as Cornus and Salix cultivars. Cut them back to their bases.
Cut out the top rosette of leaves from Mahonia shrubs after they have flowered to encourage branching.
Finish cutting back any dead foliage left on your perennials and ornamental grasses to make way for new growth.
Prune overwintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot.
Prune Winter Flowering Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) after flowering to encourage new growth for next year's blooms. Cut back the previous years growth to 5cm from the old wood.
Trim winter-flowering heathers as the flowers disappear, to prevent the plants becoming leggy.
Cut off the old leaves of Hellebores to remove any foliar diseases and make the spring flowers more visible.
Continue to deadhead faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed. This will encourage flushes of new flowers throughout the spring.
Deadhead daffodils as the flowers finish and let the foliage die back naturally.
Dead-head Hydrangeas before new growth appears. Cut to about one third of last season's growth.
Keep an eye out for slugs as the weather warms; they favour soft new growth. Use nematodes for an effective organic control.
In the vegetable garden
Colin Randel (Vegetable Product Manager) says...
Sow early Broad beans (The Sutton, De Monica) and early peas (Twinkle, Avola) in seed trays of compost, just pushing the seeds into the compost, to transplant later. If you use Rowplanters filled with multipurpose or seed compost and space sow then the young plants can be carefully transferred from the Rowplanters to a prepared shallow trench in the veg garden.
If the soil is workable, dig in a 5cm (or more) layer of compost, well rotted manure or green waste into your beds to prepare for the growing season ahead.
Prepare vegetable seed beds by removing all weeds and forking in plenty of compost. Cover prepared soil with sheets of black plastic to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for planting.
If you've grown green manures over the winter, now is the time to dig them in whilst their stems are still soft.
Begin chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes on delivery.
Towards the end of the month plant your chitted early potatoes outside in the ground. If you don't have enough space for growing potatoes on your plot, why not try potato growing kits for your patio? To find out more growing potatoes in bags or in the ground, take a look at our potato growing guides.
asparagus beds from crowns. Weed and mulch existing asparagus beds. Asparagus has shallow roots so weed by hand to prevent damage. Dig trench about 20 - 25cm deep and 30cm wide, and add liberal amount of well rotted compost to the base of the trench mixed with 85g/ sqm. of blood, fish and bone, or bonemeal. Carefully place the crowns 45cm apart in the trench, spreading the roots out, and cover with some sieved soil and ensure the emerging buds are just below soil level.
onion, shallot and garlic sets provided the soil isn't frozen or waterlogged. Alternatively pot up sets into individual pots for transplanting outdoors later on.
raspberry canes to the ground to stimulate new canes, which will fruit in the autumn. Cut the tips of summer-fruiting raspberry canes that have grown beyond the top of their supports; cut just above a bud.