What to do in the garden – Second Week of March

In The Flower Garden

  • Plant lily bulbs in pots for colourful summer displays
  • Prune shrub roses to low new shoots
  • Cut back overgrown honeysuckle stems close to their base, just above new shoots
  • Trim back old shoots of perennials left for winter interest, taking care not to damage emerging new growth
  • Prune tall, leggy Mahonia by cutting off the leafy rosette at the top of stems to encourage branches to develop below. Cutting it down to ground level also works but wait till it is finished flowering.

In The Fruit and Vegetable Garden

  • Grow early-maturing potatoes in a bag of compost
  • Fork compost into beds to prepare soil for planting
  • Chit potatoes by standing them in trays in a warm bright position until they develop small shoots
  • Dig out problem weeds and emerging annual weeds
  • Plant Jerusalem artichokes
  • Cover rhubarb with forcing jars to encourage long, delicious pale stems
  • Sow seeds of the following crops outside or under cloches: carrots, beetroot, broad beans, salad onions, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, leeks, lettuce, rocket, coriander, mixed salad or stir fry leaves, radish, turnip, peas, lettuce and Swiss chard

In The Greenhouse

  • Sow seeds of cucumbers, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers to raise summer crops
  • Water compost with a suitable pesticide where vine weevils have been discovered
  • Sow summer bedding plants, such as petunias, geranium, verbena and busy Lizzie
  • Take cuttings from chrysanthemums
  • Pick faded or yellowing leaves from plants to prevent grey mould infections
  • Raise crops in modular trays to transplant into the garden later, such as celery, celeriac, lettuce, parsley and other herbs

Generally

  • Plan your seed-sowing year by organising packets in sowing order in a shoe box or tray
  • Trim lawn edges to keep the area neat and tidy
  • Apply residual path weedkillers to paved and gravel areas
  • Lay sheets of black polythene¬†on lawns overnight to bring leatherjackets to the surface where they can be collected
  • Build new compost bins to recycle garden waste
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