What a teasing month we have been through, there were one or two days when you really did feel that spring was knocking. The T shirt drawer was opened and I skipped excitedly about the garden (yes, even at my age). Only to be knocked back to reality by a biting wind, that had me loading the coal scuttle and retreating indoors. There hasn’t been that much frost, but there has been a persistent and penetrating cold. Fear not though we are on the cusp of change. In just three weeks the clocks will roll forward and the days will extend. We will be able to garden after tea, there is much to be done.
This is the month for new plantings and replanting, for moving and starting the production of our seasonal needs. Vegetable seed can all be started (apart from the bean and Marrow families which must wait a month), but many others can be direct sown or started in pots and trays on window sills or in the shed or greenhouse. The first potatoes can also be put out in the coming weeks. Flower seed too can be explored, with many hardier subjects getting sown. You will need shelter for some and warmth for others, so do read the packets. Where applicable a months grace will see the weather improve still further and tender subjects will fare better. Of course if you have just a little warmth in a greenhouse or conservatory you can really go for it. New seasons shrubs, trees and roses are all starting to appear in garden centres and March is a perfect month for them. The real rush of spring is imminent and newly planted they will settle quickly as the sap moves. The first bedding is around too, with Violas and Pansies once again leading the way. In the coming days I will push around the last of my manure as a top dressing (allowing the weather to quietly deliver goodness to new growth), I will check out the lawn mower and weather permitting may give the grass a light skim and I will throw down a bit of grass seed to repair some fox damage.
And finally, I am not to dispirited by the fox, quite the contrary he appears to have mopped up our rabbit problem. I am fairly confident of this as we are seeing less rabbit damage and he has moved on to ripping through our compost and manure heap in search of rodents and worms.