Botany Bay’s Terrific Tips For March
Armed with secateurs you will always find the odd shrub that you have not pruned, such as Sambucus, Buddleja, Philadelphus also the winter flowering shrubs that have finished flowering can now be pruned back.
Evergreen shrubs can also be pruned in March, some may have suffered from frost damage such as Pieris or Choisya. Gentle prune the tips with some snips to encourage fresh growth.
Climbing shrubs such as Jasminum and Chaenomeles can be pruned once they have finished flowering.
Any Roses that haven’t yet been pruned should be done now. Empty the well rotted contents of the compost bin onto the shrub borders, break any larger clumps of compost down with a fork and dig lightly into the surface of the borders. The plants will love it!
Once Snowdrops have finished flowering they can be lifted and divided to help create naturalisation and encourage plenty of flowers in years to come.
A fantastic selection of ‘Home Grown’ perennials are now available at Botany Bay, Plant Centre & Wildlife Shop.
Plan your garden borders before you begin planting and plant in groups of 3 or 5 for maximum colour effect. Single plants give a less effective display.
Established perennial plants will be producing lots of young shoots now, either split and divide with a blade of a spade and re-plant. Or take cuttings and produce baby plants of your own. These cuttings will need the protection of a greenhouse or frame which are available in store.
The days are getting longer and progressively warmer some hardier annual seeds can be sown now direct into the garden border.
Hopefully with some warm sun on our backs we can begin some early sowings of onions, parsnips and broad beans direct into the vegetable plot.
Broad beans and peas that have been grown in pots in the greenhouse or frame should be slowly hardened off now before planting out.
Near the end of March carrots, turnips, raddish and lettuce can be sown.
Check any Rhubarb that you are forcing, the young shoots will soon grow during the warm spring days.
Seed Potatoes are now available in store, we stock the best and most popular varieties. See our web page on how to grow seed potatoes. Don’t forget to buy a tub of Westland’s Bonemeal fertiliser to give your potatoes the best start.
Plums, Damsons, Peach, Nectarines and Apricot trees growing on walls will all be coming into flower now.
At this time of year there aren’t many bees flying about so hand pollination with a very small paint brush will help pollination and lead to a bigger fruit yield, all you have to do is brush the pollen from one flower to another.
Raspberries, Gooseberries and Currents will benefit from a mulch of Godwins Farmyard manure to give the e healthy spring boost.
As Apples, Pears and Plums will start to come into leaf, there may be signs of early leaf damage from bugs. Use Bayer’s Garden Provardo Ultimate Bug Killer to see them off.
Don’t spray insecticide or fungicide whilst fruit trees are in flower, wait until flowering has finished.
We really know spring has arrived when we can start working on the lawn.
Once the grass has started to grow and the weather and ground conditions are good, lightly rake the lawn to remove leaves and surface rubbish.
Choose a dry day for the first mow. The first cut should only remove the very top of the grass.
Now is the time to apply the first moss kill of the season. Use Westlands Lawn, Feed, Weed & Mosskiller. Find a time in the month when the weather is mild and when the grass is dry and frost free.
When applying Westalnds Lawn, Feed, Weed & Mosskiller avoid mowing the lawn 3 days before and 4 days after treatment. It’s possible you may have to retreat the lawn in 4 to 6 weeks time to get rid all the moss.
Don’t compost grass clippings that have had any form of chemical treatment.
During March we can do any small patching repairs with Westlands multi-purpose grass seed and Godwins Top Soil.
Begonia and Dahlia tubers can be started off in March by placing the tubers in trays of potting compost.
Towards the end of March many annual bedding plants can be grown from seed sown in a heated greenhouse or frame.
At Botany Bay, Plant Centre & Wildlife Shop we have a fantastic range of ‘Home Grown’ basket & patio plug plants. From Geraniums or Fuchsia to Bacopa or Petunias we have them all. So there is no excuse to get an early start with planting up hanging baskets and containers.
All these plants must be kept in frost free conditions. Vent the greenhouse and this will help prevent botrytis and other fungus diseases forming.
A huge range of seed trays and propagation aids are now available in store.
The Garden Pond
Give the pump a good clean out. Permanently switch on your pump and filter now
As the sunny days gather pace begin to feed your fish.
It’s time to get mucky, clean out your pond before the tadpoles arrive.
Divide and re-pot large established pond plants before they start to grow.
A wider range of houseplants are in stock now, these include Regal Pelargoniums and Geraniums which will give a bright splash of colour to the window ledge before planting in the garden in May.
Finally Jamie’s Top Tips
1. Botany Bay Nurseries, Plant Centre & Wildlife Shop is well worth a visit, with early flowering shrubs and bedding plants now in bloom, adding early colour to your garden.
2. For an early crop of Strawberries, bring them into the greenhouse and give them some water and food.