You might have felt the change in the wind. Perhaps you’ve seen a bloom, new leaf or just a bud about to burst.
Either way, March is here and spring is almost upon us/is here (depending on where in the UK you live, might still be a bit nippy), and with it it’s time to plant some more great flowers, veg, trees and fruit!
Special note: this is your last month to get bare root plants in before they’re fully focussed on budding!
You can still plant summer bulbs while the spring bulbs are bursting out of the ground, just take care not to disturb the daffodil and crocus bulbs that are already there!
Dahlia, lily and peony featured last month, so if you’d like to learn more about those click the link just there. Otherwise, check out these new ones:
Begonias are a bit like roses in their blooms, clusters of petals and fading gradients of colour. The varieties we have exhibit ‘cascading’ behaviour, so plant them in a high pot or hanging basket for the fullest effect.
Choose ‘odorosa’ varieties if you’re looking for garden scents!
The curious canna stands proud, some growing as tall as Andre the Giant! They’re sometimes called canna lilies though they’re not that closely related, most likely because their large flowers and leaves have some surface similarities.
Either way, plant them in full sun or light shade, with moist soil, and look forward to a mighty stem come summer!
Another plant called ‘lily’ though it isn’t, Agapanthus the ‘African Lily’ grows beautiful little clusters of flowers on the end of bare stems. The end result at a distance bares a resemblance to an allium, but get a little closer and you’ll see almost mini-lilies within each not-quite-globular cluster.
Plant with lots of compost and 30cm apart, 5cm deep. If you’re just planting the one, make sure there are other tall plants around to help them stay upright – almost every tall-standing flower is in danger of toppling in the wind.
Plugs are becoming more available as the year wears on (the greenhouse seeds have done their job), and they’re a great way to jumpstart your blooms and crops. Someone else has already done the hard bits for you!
Bedding plants sold as plugs are your best value for money in March, as they’ll have loads of time to grow in well and you can get lots at once. Later in the year you’ll be onto garden-ready plants and a higher cost, so move fast for a bedding bonanza!
Highlights for March include colourful drooping fuschias (add plant food for huge flowers!), grand geraniums, blooming begonias and dainty dahlias. Dahlias are also available as summer-sprouting bulbs, so you’ve got a few options there.
There are loads of vegetable plugs you can get a start with in March, including cabbage, beetroot, tomatoes and herbs galore. You can also jump ahead with your alliums and peppers, for a flavour-filled summer season!
Each will be supplied with planting instructions, so get your reading glasses on for the best results.
Manage your growth from the very beginning by starting with seeds. Generally you’ll want to grow them in a seed tray first to give them the best chance, but it’s up to you what you do with your seeds!
We’ve talked in the past about cultivars and how some plants are surprisingly related. Well onions, chives and leeks are unsurprisingly related, being in the ‘Allium‘ family along with garlic and spring onions (and some beautiful flowers). And all of them can go in the ground in March!
To start with they’re all grown pretty similarly, with drills 10-15 cm apart and a good watering in, but as they sprout you’re going to want to move them apart to give them space to grow. And don’t let the soil get too compacted, otherwise the tasty bits underground will grow small and the leaves will grow massive instead.
Stretching the definition of the word ‘seed’, ‘early’ seed potatoes can go into barrels and bags this month. You can plant them in your bare veg patch if you want, but we guarantee you’ll keep on growing potatoes for years afterwards even if you don’t want to. Stick to planters, raised beds you can empty and other, contained methods of growing.
Chives, dill and marjoram can also be grown in drills, started in a seed tray before planting out once they’ve sprouted a bit and look like they might overrun their now-plugs. If you’d like to skip to plugs, look to bergamot, Vietnamese coriander and thyme.
There’s also the wondrous pineapple mint, which we mention whenever it’s in season.
There’s just about still time to get those bare roots into the ground before the earth ironically gets too warm for them to establish their best. They’re great value plants and trees, so if you’d like to save a little before they start rising in price (more growth=higher price), get those bare roots in now!
Roses are about to make their garden presence known, and everywhere will be telling you now is the last month you can get away with bare root planting. Well, they’re not wrong, so if you’d like some beautiful rosey blooms come spring and summer then now’s the time to get bare-rooting!
You’ll be able to buy flowering ones later in the year, but petals are liable to get knocked off in transit so you’ll be waiting til next year to get a full bloom.
Raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb and gooseberries are all available in bare root forms. Look after them right and they’ll fruit for years, rhubarb in particular being a surprisingly hardy sort-of fruit. You’ll barely be able to move for rhubarb each year!
If you’re a big fan of jams and fruit salads, a bit of bare root fruit will give you a really sweet summer.