Gardening Tips for March

Items obtainable from our trading shed are highlighted.

We have reached March and spring flowers are at their stunning best to cheer us through, perhaps, the busiest part of the gardening year.

Jobs to do

  • All beds need a mulch both to retain moisture and to suppress those annoying annual weeds that need light to germinate.
  • Remove the top 1 to 2 inches of old compost from permanent pot plants and top-dress with fresh multi-purpose compost. The old compost could be used as mulch.

In the ornamental garden

  • Cut back Cornus, grown for their coloured stems, to 2-3 inches from the base because new growth has the best colour next winter. If that makes you nervous, cut a third of last year’s growth back and leave the rest until next year.
  • Cut down perennial grasses to make room for new growth.
  • Prune bush and standard roses and feed with proprietry rose food, fish, blood and bone or Growmore
  • Prune last season’s growth of Hydrangea panniculata to the lowest pair of strong buds – they flower on this year’s growth; but prune mop-head hydrangeas by removing dead heads back to the next pair of strong buds – they flower on last year’s growth; cut out a third of old growth at the base to encourage more stems to grow for next year’s flowers.
  • Prune Buddleia to a low framework; this will encourage the new growth that bears the flowers

    Euphorbias give texture and colour but the sap can irritate skin.

  • Divide Hemerocallis, Astrantia, Hosta, Heuchera and Bergenia as new growth begins.
  • Start mowing lawns, but keep the blades high to start with.


In the kitchen garden

  • Blueberries: remove one third of the oldest stems to ground level to promote new fruiting wood. Top dress with ericaceous compost
  • Gooseberries, red and white currants: remove dead wood, then spur prune all side shoots to 1-3 buds from their base and shorten branch tips by a quarter.
  • Start planting early potatoes mid-March and onion and shallot sets.
  • Direct sow broad beans, carrots, lettuce, parsnips and peas.
  • Prepare trenches for runner beans with well-rotted manure and shredded paper at the base – they do not like to dry out!
  • Start off other vegetables under glass.

Above all, keep hoeing off those annual weeds before they set seed!

Dates for your diary

28th March: Church Crookham Garden Society Spring Show and seed swap. Willis Hall, Church Crookham; entries staged 9am to 10.30am; open to the public 11.30am

Spring Show exhibits











Gardens to visit in March open in aid of National Garden Scheme

22nd and 23rd March: Vann, Hambledon GU8 4EF

29th March: Beechenwood Farm, Hillside, Hook RG29 1JA