Garry Winwood of Stone Cross Garden Centre on the excitement of March.
March is a month all gardeners love. The arrival of spring, increased brighter dry days and being able to venture out into the garden more. It’s the time to start planning your spring and summer garden.
This is an important month for the garden as it is one of the main times for preparing for the new season ahead. Sowing seeds, pruning and planting now will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labours later during the summer months. Lets bring that garden to life with new exciting new plants and colours.
IN THE FLOWER GARDEN
March is a good month to tidy and prepare the garden for the spring, here are some of our top tips.
If you have plants in pots or containers remove the top inch of soil. Replace this with a good quality new Multi-Purpose Compost or Blended Farmyard Manure as this will provide the plants with new nutrients helping it to perform better in the coming seasons. For added strength a Multi-Purpose Fertiliser such as Growmore can also be applied to the soil at a rate of approximately one handful per square metre.
Sow seeds of Climbing Annuals such as Sweet Peas, Morning Glory, Black-Eyed Susan and Bedding Plants such as Lobelia and Geraniums
Plant summer flowering bulbs and tubers such as Anemone. Ensure that the soil is well-drained, adding grit if necessary and that you plant deep enough to keep late frosts at bay.
Mulch around alpine plants will grit to prevent stem rot. It will also showcase the plants better giving a beautiful display.
Prune faded winter flowers on shrubs. This will prolong their flowering period as energy can be diverted to the remaining flower buds
It is the last month for planting bare-root hedging plants. After this month it is better to plant potted varieties with more developed root systems
It is a good month for planting Roses. By planting with multi-purpose compose, Rose Food and Mycorrhizal Fungi, the roses will establish more quickly ready to bloom throughout the summer
GROW YOUR OWN
This is a busy month for “grow your own”, what you do this month will reap it rewards throughout the summer and autumn.
Aim to grow as much of your diet as possible. It tastes better and it is extremely satisfying to be eating the fruits of your own labours. Buy your seeds and plan your growing plot so you are ready to get started.
If you are not ready to plant yet cover your vegetable growing areas with black polythene to supress weeds and warm the soil prior to planting.
GARDEN CENTRE ADVICE
Our most asked question at Stone Cross:
“What plants combine well when planting up a summer hanging basket?”
Hanging baskets provide valuable garden colour at eye level. These help to make any wall or structure very much part of the garden but there are many factors to consider when planting a hanging basket.
Do you want a basket to provide food such as tomatoes or to provide colour?
Secondly how large is the basket you have?
(This will determine the number of plants that you can put in the hanging basket?)
The most common size is twelve inches. Into this size of basket you could plant three Tumbling Tom Tomatoes around the edge and a Marigold in the centre. The marigold has a scent that repels many unwanted garden pests. You could alternatively plant seven strawberry plants.
Into the same size basket you could plant seven flowering plants, one in the centre and six spaced equally around the outside. These would provide you with flowers and most importantly colour through until the first frosts of the autumn providing you deadhead and feed your basket and plants.
I like to use a Geranium in the centre of my basket and six different plants around the edge. This usually includes Bacopa, Trailing Fuchsia, Surfinia, Calibrachoa, Diascia and Bidens. This is a mixture of clashing colours that look extremely vibrant.
There is not a right or wrong way of selecting your basket plants. It is all down to personal preference and choice. As shown in the examples below single-colour and multi-colour themes all look good. Just let your imagination run and see what you can create.
Stone Cross Nurseries, Dittons Road, Stone Cross, Pevensey.
This first appeared in the March etc Magazine, pick up your copy now.