March in the garden
The Met Office reckon it's spring but the thermometer in the greenhouse is still telling me it's winter! Minus 2 degrees Celsius inside a cold greenhouse equates to minus 4 degrees Celsius outdoors (non scientific but I reckon it's close!).
All of this means the electrician running cable to my own greenhouse better get the job done pretty quickly (first Saturday in March according to his latest text!). While I wait to be connected, and as he rolls out that all important armoured cable, there's plenty to be doing in the garden.
If you don't have heating in your greenhouse it is definitely something worth considering. It helps to ensure that any plants you do have in there don't suffer from the cold, or accidentally touch cold glass which can result in all manner of problems. This in turn will help your plants survive throughout the colder months, and even though the weather is meant to be warming up, a helping hand never went amiss!
Key gardening activities for March
- If the soil isn't frozen or waterlogged, get your onion sets in ASAP to give them a long growing season.
- When buying plants from garden centres ask them about hardiness and where they have been grown. Soft growth is easily damaged by hard frosts.
- When planting shrubs use a friendly fungi on the roots at planting time. They will establish quickly and in the long term give you a better plant.
- Buy plants with lots of flower buds and not necessarily the ones in full flower. They will produce a longer display.
- Keep that horticultural fleece handy for extreme weather. It can be stuffed into upturned pots and placed over shoots of herbaceous plants if it really gets cold.
- Ask garden retailers about how hardy plants are before buying. The plants are tempting but will they stand a few cold nights?
- Direct sow seeds when the soil is warm enough. Look for weed growth or buy a soil thermometer.
Daffodils are superb this year, if a little early, so get out to some of the gardens with large collections to find more unusual varieties to grow.