Gardening tips for March

Get your garden ready for spring with advice from our expert horticulturist.

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Use the glossary below for any horticultural lingo.

  1. When the grass begins to grow it’s time to outdoor sow (and mow)! This will vary widely depending on where you live.
  2. Try planting risk-free hardy veg that don’t mind the cold, such as carrots, peas, broad beans, spinach, radish, parsnips and leeks.
  3. Keep it simple: only plant small amounts of veg that you actually like to eat!
  4. You’ll need labels, finely raked soil and a string line or cane to help you sow straight.
  5. Check the packet first but as a rule of thumb sprinkle the seeds in at twice the depth of the seed and lightly cover with soil.
  6. Water, label and protect early sowings.
  7. Sow leeks, salads, spinach, chard on a sunny windowsill indoors. Sow into modules to make planting out easier.
  8. Fancy growing your own tomatoes this year? Buy ‘ready to go plants’ in March from a garden centre and free up your windowsills! Read our tomato growing tips.
  9. Time to plant 'early potatoes' – plant them at a trowel’s depth.
  10. Start to deadhead bulbs to improve next year’s flowers. Don’t cut the stems off and there’s no need to tie them up.

Jargon buster

  • Deadhead: chopping the heads off plants – this tells the plant to keep flowering and stops it diverting its energy into seed production. However, with bulbs the deadheading process ensures no energy is wasted in seed production but it all goes into bulking up the bulbs for a good flower display next year.

By Louisa Evans. With thanks to Catherine Cutler.