March at a Glance
- 1. Plant summer bulbs, such as Dahlia and Lily
2. Pruning month: Roses, Buddleia, Cornus, Hydrangea and more
3. Plant snowdrops for next year’s display
4. Prepare the veg plot
5. Sow hardier seeds and half-hardy annuals under glass
- March in the Garden
- March the first month of spring and the garden is coming alive with the colour of spring bulbs. In flower are Crocus, Daffodils, scented Narcissus, Fritillaria meleagris (common name’ Snakes Head Fritillary’) and the delicate Erythronium.Gardening calendars are only a guide because so much depends on the weather in March, sometimes it can be spring like, other times cold and frosty. The weather will affect the degree to which the soil has warmed up ready for planting.
Books and magazines are full of ideas for plants to buy and plant out in March, but in many parts of the country March can be a cold month with frosts. Be cautious about planting frost tender plants unless you have time, (and energy) to protect them with fleece and cloches because one frost can do a lot of damage.
There are some warmer days, and with the increasing light levels it is a good time to sow seeds for later in the year.
As the soil warms up, so do the slugs. Emerging delicate shoots of the herbaceous plants, such as Hosta, Delphinium and lupins are the tastiest snack for a slug. Start protecting the plants!
If you are making an early start, a greenhouse, sunny porch or under glass is ideal for containers such as hanging baskets and with bedding ready for later in the year. Growing them on under glass for a few weeks helps to get the plants established in the container before exposing them to the weather. We can grow any veg and bedding plants on in the greenhouse to make sturdy plants, and then “hardened off”, which means gradually accustomed to the harsher outside weather, before planting out.
Plant summer bulbs
Bright pink Dahlias Lily
March and April are a good time to plant summer bulbs such as Dahlia and Lilies. If you have the right growing conditions Dahlias are a great showy garden plant. Dahlia does best when grown in well-drained soil, and in sheltered warmer conditions, which means they tend to thrive and produce better blooms in Southern counties. Dahlias can be grown in more exposed areas but will need frost protection from frost and lifted before the winter.
Lilies look fantastic in the summer border; the image above is Lilium Regale. Many Lilies are tall and often scented and make good patio plants. March is the right time to get the bulbs going in pots, which is much cheaper than buying plants later in the year. Pick a good-sized pot and fill with suitable compost, plant 3 bulbs per pot, and cover with more compost.
Keep the bulbs in a sheltered spot or in the greenhouse until they are established. The pots are ideal for placing on the patio to enjoy the scent or filling up gaps in the borders.