Hints & Tips
Sorry. When I get hold of that blundering twonk of a picture editor I will give him a piece of my mind! However. We’re halfway through the month, And the Vernal Equinox is soon upon us. “What is that?” I hear you clamour. Honestly, what were they teaching you in school? Well. First of all, Vernal Equinox was a safety-pin impaled, tartan-bondage trousered, bin-bag wearing punk-rock bassist with whom I shared both a band and a small, fragrant room at Uni way back in the late seventies, but that’s another story. The Vernal Equinox means if course that the clocks are going forward and spring will be with us for sure, despite the efforts of that Pennsylvanian rodent and the odd blast of Arctic wind we’ve been having.
So. What have you done and what is still left to do? Try a few of the following tasks and re-balance your inner gardener and the season will start in earnest…, which as a real co-incidence, as I learned one night over a few cans of dodgy cider, was Vernal’s real name. Disappointing, real life, isn’t it?
So. Hoorah. March. A month that’s mad as a…er… some kind of hare…whatever. It’s time to sow your seeds people. The ground is waiting and the seeds are desperate to fulfill their only purpose in life and bury themselves in your soil. Get those lovely little packets out of the hands of the kids who are using them as percussion instruments and get them in the ground. This is something you will be spreading over the whole of the month of course.
This is also a time when you might want to be mowing your lawn and trimming the edges to start that neat and kempt look we are all so proud of.
When it comes to your beds and plots, hopefully you have already prepared them so dig some more compost into the soil and make sure it’s well fertilised. You’ll need a good spade something traditional and solid… a bit like my build these days.
Shrubs like your butterfly bush, your buddleia and hydrangea, your clematis and fuchsia can all be trimmed back now, so make sure you have a decent shrub trimmer (see below) for a precise prune.
You could be sowing broad beans around now, and March is officially open season for veg and deliciousness of all sorts including summer and red cabbages, early sprouting broccoli, carrots (make sure they are covered), spring onions, early peas, some lettuces, coriander, beetroot, chicory, summer radishes and more. Even French beans can go in if they are covered. Sets of garlic can go in, as can new potatoes, main crop potatoes, parsnips, and turnips.
Right, that’s lunch settled. What next. Well herbs like chervil, chives, coriander and dill can go in outside and you could be sowing celeriac, celery and later on in March, towards the end, by the end of March, aubergines, chillies, peppers, tomatoes inside in a heated greenhouse or in the house as well as herbs like basil, oregano parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
of curse, if you are a flower person rather than a grow you own veg nut, march is time for sweet peas, pot marigolds, delphiniums, foxgloves…the world,as they say in Bristol, is your lobster. There are so many flowers to go for in this month, the list is too long for this space.
Some more ‘light scarifying’ of your lawn wouldn’t do any harm either. Try using a powered rake to remove twigs, moss and detritus, and aerate your lawn at the same time. You can use a hand rake but these machines can do more and do it quicker and faster… the world has moved on you know… it’s called progress.
Towards the end of the month you can start transferring your plants from the greenhouse and popping them into cold frames, and your garden or plot should be ready for the arrival of all that is lush and verdant. Bye bye winter, for another year.
So. Before the end of March , we’ll add a Top Tips for April just to make sure you’re ahead of the game once the season really gets into top gear and, let’s be honest, what with the Easter hols and the two bank holidays you’ve got very little in the way of excuses.
Oh, and these tips cropped up initially when a friend happened to ask me what were my main gardening chores in March so…here’s a thought… if you have any questions why not send them in to me, Dick or Holly at on Facebook. Enjoy your garden!
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