Erratic! An ounce of March dust is worth a king’s ransom. In other words, March is sowing time and a dry dusty March makes the ground surface in good condition for sowing.
But beginners should note that the experienced gardener.
does not sow by the calendar, but by the weather. Wait for favourable conditions, and meanwhile continue with the indoor work of sowing and pricking out.
Sow seeds outdoors, beginning with the hardiest kinds. Sow both on the
plot and on nursery beds.
Plant almost anything – herbaceous plants, hardy bedding plants, roses
(during the first half of the month), shrubs (except tender evergreens), and
hardy annual seedlings.
Renovate and alter the arrangement of small gardens.
Prune roses (during the last week of the month) and other shrubs as necessary.
Use slug killers; these pests are very troublesome among tender seedlings, but
any of the modern slug killers will solve the problem.
Make and repair lawns. Begin to mow regularly.
Plant potatoes, beginning with the first earlies.
Sow most of the small seeds, i.e., a part of each packet of quick maturing crops like lettuce; and the whole packet in the case of such crops as parsnips, which are to stand.
Hoe and rake the top soil thoroughly and use fertilizer according to the intended crop before you sow the seeds. Two or three inches of fine crumbly soil should form the surface.
Prepare a nursery bed for sowing such crops as cabbages, sprouts, and broccoli that are to be set out permanently later.
Sow on a favourable day, broadcast or in rows, and thin out the seedlings as necessary to prevent crowding.
Outdoor sowings on the plot include broad beans, carrots, onions, radishes, parsley, parsnips, peas; spinach, garden swedes and turnips.
Plant out lettuces raised in the hotbed in February. Cloches are sufficient protection for these on the plot.
Dig deeply and manure ,well the trenches where celery is to be grown. (Sow celery seed under glass.)
If birds are troublesome on the food plot, set a board studded with nails at
each side. and criss-cross black cotton over the rows of young plants.
Protect the opening blossom of wall fruits from frost and birds.
Hoe and use fertilizers as needed round orchard and bush fruits. Finish planting; when buds have burst it is dangerous to move trees.
Begin grafting. if trees were headed back in January for the purpose.
Spray pears in the green bud stage with lime sulphur or bordeaux mixture against pear scab.
Plant out chrysanthemums, carnations and similar hardy bedding plants.
Plant gladioli and hardy lilies.
Sow all hardy annuals, dwarfs for edging in both ornamental and in food
gardens, and taller varieties, for border display and to cut for the vases.
Divide rock plants of suitable kinds such as mossy saxifrage.
Break down the surface of ridged soil ready for seed sowing and planting.
Repair all grass walks: use fertiliser as for lawns.
Order new plants for water gardens (April and May are times to put them out).
Order fruit netting, straw for strawberries, pea sticks for the food plot, bean sticks and flower stakes if the present stock is not sufficient.
Make or re-lay crazy paving path , cement work can usefully be done in springtime.
Apply weed killer to paths.
Hedge bottoms should be cleaned out before growth begins. They harbour weeds and pests.
Fork over the soil and hand pick the roots of perennial weeds, devil’s twine, nettles and the like. Then if the roots invade the garden plot, cut these off with a sharp spade close to the side of the hedge. Any gaps can be filled in with little plants like the hedge. Keep the hoe going amongst crops every two weeks. Work with sharp tools ,
Cloches are of supreme importance
this month. Seedlings of lettuce, etc. raised in hotbeds can be transferred to the open garden if a row of cloches can be set over them immediately.
Seeds sown under cloches will produce early crops of spinach, carrots, mustard
and cress. All these are crops rich in vitamins.
Prick out or plant out under cloches all January sown seedlings.
Sow all half-hardy annuals, tender annuals that are to be grown on indoors, and seeds of perennials likely to flower in the first season, such as Japanese chrysanthemums, bedding dahlias and carnations.
Sow broccoli, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, celery, tomatoes and vegetable marrows under glass for outdoor cultivation.
Ventilate freely but avoid draughts.
Maintain a frost-free temperature in hotbeds by the application of fresh stable manure round the sides.