The Horti’s Gardening Calendar - March


The meteorological Spring starts on the 1st March. This means the days are getting longer, and increase in length more quickly, the temperature increases and spending more time in the garden becomes a possibility.

Tips for March

1. Buying seed potatoes

March is an important month to think about buying seed potatoes for chitting in a light frost free place. Apart from being delicious fresh from the soil and lightly cooked, the main reason for growing them yourself is to grow varieties that are less freely available in the shops. Grow first earlies to avoid blight. I grow Red Duke of York. Delicious.

2. Plant shallots

Shallots can be planted in small pots and kept sheltered until they are ready to be planted out. Longnor and Red Sun do well in Helensburgh. Longnor are easier to chop.

3. Plant tomato seeds

If you have protection and the weather is improving plant tomato seeds and others such as peppers. A heated propagator is good for starting them off. If not, the vegetable stall at the Annual Plant Sale is a good place to buy plants brought on by members..

4. Buy onion sets

You may wish to buy onion sets to store in a cool dark place. It’s too early to plant them yet, but storage in shops causes them to deteriorate. Sturon is a suitable variety.

5. Plant sweet peas

Plant sweet peas. They do well in root trainers, or if you don’t have them, five seeds in a five-inch pot works almost as well.

6. Planning your garden

Herbaceous plants can be divided to reinvigorate them and spare roots potted up for the plant sale in early May. Members plant stall is a good place to buy plants that will grow well in the local area.

7. Edible salad crop

Sprouting seeds can provide a valuable fresh green edible salad crop. Red Clover grows in about 4 days and Alfalfa in 7 days.

8. Nesting birds

Birds start to nest in March. Avoid putting out peanuts as they are harmful to adult birds feeding nestlings.

9. Spring clean

On one of the bright sunny days try to sit in the garden for coffee and start to enjoy the Spring colour. In the large Helensburgh gardens Rhododendrons are beginning to flower and are visible from the pavements. The early red one is called Rhododendron ‘Nobleanum’.

10. Enjoy the spring colour

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On one of the bright sunny days try to sit in the garden for coffee and start to enjoy the Spring colour. In the large Helensburgh gardens Rhododendrons are beginning to flower and are visible from the pavements. The early red one is called Rhododendron ‘Nobleanum’.

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