With Spring finally on its way, this is our favourite time of year at the Garden Centre as we fill up with all the new product ranges and plants stocks for the season. In March so much begins to happen in the garden it can be difficult to know where to start, but with the promise of warmer weather and longer days coming soon it’s a great time to get prepared for the growing season ahead.
The very first of the seasons Bedding plants arrive at Eastfield in Mid Feb with a range of baby plants such as Surfinias, Begonias, Fuchsia and Geraniums to name but a few. Whilst it is still too cold for these to go out side (a min of 8’C is required for most to survive), now is a great time to get them growing on so that when the time is right you have strong, well rooted & mature plants for your containers and baskets in the summer. If you have a lot of baskets to prepare this is also a great way to save a few pounds as baby plants can often be as much as half the price of larger grown plants later in the season.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a heated greenhouse for these, often they can be just as happy if potted on and placed in a cool, well lit conservatory, windowsill or porch until frosts have gone.
There are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden, and if the late winter has been unseasonably mild the first of the dreaded weeds will have appeared! It’s always best to get on top of these straight away to prevent them getting established in your borders, making for hard work later on. Use a systemic weed killer such as Roundup to tackle perennial weeds and think about adding a layer of mulch to suppress new weeds coming through.
Your lawn may have already started growing too, and certainly by late March is ready for its first cut. Scarifying to remove dead grass, moss and other detritus is essential to allow the new blades to come through, and top dressing afterwards with fine lawn soil will improve soil quality and drainage as your lawn begins to grow. New turf can be laid now if the ground is not frozen or waterlogged, or if sowing from seed get the ground prepared now to give it plenty of time to settle before sowing next month.
In the borders, hardy trees and shrubs are best planted now, before their roots begin to grow, and adding a good fertiliser such as Grow-more and a handful of Bonemeal will set them up for strong root establishment. Plant summer flowering bulbs in March for optimum flowering in the summer , Roses too are best planted now and far friendlier to handle before they put on any growth. Consider leaving any extra growth on your hedges and trees in the spring to give extra shelter to nesting birds, and remember to keep feeding wild birds throughout the spring as there is often insufficient food sources for a hungry nest.
Flowering shrubs such as these are always in investment in the garden as they are relatively easy to care for & will offer flowering periods generally much longer than Herbaceous plantings. Being longer lived , these hardy shrubs will give pleasure to any gardener for many years to come.