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Gardening tips for March

It’s finally spring (spring dance anyone?), and finally time to get out into the garden and sort out the havoc that winter – and Storm Doris – has created. Green-fingered Ellen Mary is, as usual, here to help – here are her tips for March. Take it away, Ellen (and happy spring to you my dear!).

Get protective:

Protect bright daffs from slugs and snails

As plants and bulbs – such as Daffodils and Crocus’ – start to enjoy the sunshine (and, with it, with an increase in soil temperature), young shoots will begin to appear. It’s time to protect them from slugs and snails – sprinkle crushed egg shells around plants, and wind copper tape around pots and containers to deter them. Nermatodes are a good, natural approach to keeping on top of garden pests.

Salad days:

Plant radish now to crunch on them come summer

Spring onion, lettuce and radish need to be planted now if you want to crunch on delicious salads come summer. Keep the plants in the greenhouse, or under a protective cloche, to ensure they grow healthily. Sow them now, you will be able to pick them early in the season – and enjoy them sooner!

Strawberry shortcake:

Eaton Mess time? Yes please!

If, like most of us, you enjoy strawberries, cover your plants with a protective cloche or horticultural fleece to encourage them to fruit earlier than usual (clever eh?!). Just think, you could be tucking into Eton Mess sooner than you might think.

Feather that nest:

Help birds nest this spring

Give your garden birds a helping hand by leaving nesting material around the garden. Moss, piles of twigs (small ones please) and even pieces of your own hair, or that of a pet (editors note: really Ellen?) will help create a warm, safe place for them to nest.

Early bloomers:

Hellebores will bloom early, if you’ll let them

Hellebores are early bloomers; their flowers marking the start of spring. Keep them in tip-top shape by cutting off old leaves from the ground level, helping to them rid them of leaf spot.

Ellen Mary is founder of No Fear Gardening, a gardening club for amateurs. The next meeting – ‘A Colour for All Seasons’ – will take place at 7pm on Weds 8 March at the Norwich Wellbeing Centre, where Peter from Thorncroft Clematis will discuss the gardening equation: Roses + Clematis = Beautiful Garden


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