Gardening – March to do list

Candelabra Primula

March is the month for sowing seeds and getting the garden ready for the summer months ahead, which includes a general tidy up, some essential pruning and getting some colour back into borders and pots.

Plant a rainbow of colour to welcome in spring by packing patio pots and filling flower beds with primulas and polyanthus. These cheerful bedding plants offer great value, flowering their hearts out for weeks on end to brighten your outlook on even the dullest of days. Small pot grown plants are available now as Plant of the Moment in garden centres around the UK, making them perfect for creating instant displays in any garden, patio or courtyard or as blocks of colour in beds.

Seed sowing should be at the top of your ‘to do’ list at the moment. Give seeds soil that is wet and warm enough and off they go, and the bigger the seed the deeper it needs to be in the soil to germinate. Some seeds can be sown direct into the ground, such as vegetables, whilst some prefer to be in seed trays and a slighter warmer environment to be given a good fighting chance.

Really big seeds – or as we call them, bulbs – also need to be planted now for summer flowering.

Here’s what the experts suggest for your March ‘to do’ list

Spring usually arrives by mid-March and the frequent sunny days provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. It’s time to get busy preparing seed beds, sowing seed, cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up around the garden. ~RHS

Start your month propagating and dividing and then get planting as the cold weather becomes milder. It’s a great idea to plant your lilies at the end of the month and make sure you look after your snowdrops. ~National Trust

When buying bulbs, everyone seems to think of daffodils, tulips, crocus, but forget there’s some great summer flowering bulbs too. Think gladioli, lilies, freesias, as well as unusual ones such as Sparaxis and Tigridia. They are super colourful and extra easy to grow. Summer flowering bulbs are ideal for dropping into any gap in the border, so if you’ve bought shrubs which haven’t filled out quite yet, fill that space in the meantime with some bulbs. ~Michael Parry, founder of Grubby Gardeners

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