The days really have run away haven’t they? I am accepting of the fact that February is a day or two shorter than the regular months, but it was gone in a blink. Perhaps it was that block of five dreary wet days that congealed as a lump around the 10th. The ground is just so wet and nature is all over the place. I have sympathy for those who have organised Spring Flower shows in April, nearly all of my daffs are out now. But enough reflecting, we should be getting on, marching into March with much to do.
We need to catch up on the early planting, so that’s onion sets, shallots, garlic, asparagus and rhubarb. Peas and Beans can be set out and new seed started to serve as a fail safe and to give succession. Summer Cabbage and Cauliflower plants can be planted out and if the plants aren’t available then get in some seed, they will come through quickly. Summer Cabbage can achieve maturity inside of three months. It’s salad time too and with the exception of Tomato plants which will need heat all other subjects can be started. March is also a great month for shifting plants and for introducing new ones. Roses, shrubs trees, hedging will all cope with the move. The sap will begin to rise any day now and new introductions will settle very quickly. There is also time for last minute pruning, sorting unruly growth and putting new shape into tired tangles. Pruning should be clean, modest and to a bud. If you haven’t done much before and want to reshape, look at the direction in which buds point before chopping. You want buds to point away from the centre of your plant and the lead bud is going where it points. On the flower front you can consider topping up pots and borders with a few hardy subjects. There are Polyanthus and primroses still around and some good clumps of aubretia, together with old favourites like delphiniums, foxgloves and Sweet William. There will also be new season violas and pansies, but if you have some over wintered plants give them the benefit of the doubt for a day or two. They regularly put on a great recovery towards Easter and can be impressive.
And finally, all the books tell you to consider the lawn and it is fair to note that is has hardly stopped growing this winter. Just tread lightly and if you find the ground firm enough to get cutting, get those blades high for the first couple of cuts.