March gardening tips

March gardening tips: At Barnsdale Gardens, Britain’s largest collection of individually designed gardens based in the East Midlands, the team are only to pleased to share their gardening tips with you this month. March is one of the pinnacle times when getting ready for the start of the main growing season and the tips below will help you in your very own garden!

Cover stone fruit

Fan trained peaches, nectarines and apricots are early flowering, so susceptible to the spring frosts. Laying over some fleece will help to protect those early blooms and ensure a good crop in summer.

March gardening tips - Steve Hamilton

March gardening tips – Steve Hamilton

Chit first early potatoes

During the first part of this month, if you haven’t already done so, you really do need to get you first early potatoes chitting. Pop them into an egg box, modular tray or something similar, with the eyes pointing upwards. They need to be kept frost-free, so pop them under the greenhouse staging, but a windowsill would do just as good a job.

Sow perennials

Now is the time to reap the rewards of the work that has been done in the summer and autumn, when collecting seeds from perennials. Fill a seed tray, as normal, firm, water well and sow the seeds as you would for vegetables or annuals. Cover with a thin layer of compost if they are staying inside. If you are putting them in a cold frame or just outside, then cover with horticultural grit.

Turn compost

Now that the weather is heating up it’s a good time to give the compost heap a bit of a fluff up. Just take all the material out of the bin and then pop it all back in again. This should mix it up sufficiently and fire it back into life.

Plant Sweet Peas

For the keen ones amongst us, now is time to plant out those sweet peas we sowed in November or January. If you haven’t pinched out the growing tip then do it after planting, as this will give more shoots and therefore more flowers.

Get multi-sown crops on the go

This is a great way of pushing through quick crops, either to fill in harvesting gaps or to provide a quick turn round in a limited space.

– Fill a module tray with seed and cuttings or a multipurpose compost
– Tap down the tray on your bench to settle the compost, then level off
– Create small indentations
– Sow 5-7 seeds per cell
– Cover the seeds with compost or vermiculite
– Label and water in

Once germinated these are planted out as a clump, grown on and harvested as a clump. It takes anywhere between 6-10 weeks from sowing to harvest, depending on the variety grown. This method is suitable for beetroot, turnips, kohlrabi, carrots, onions and leeks

There’s plenty to see and do all year round at Barnsdale Gardens!

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