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March is usually regarded as the start of the gardening year as there is much to do and many plants coming into growth and in the case of early ones, flowering. If you planted spring flowering bulbs last year you will now be seeing the lovely results of your labours as they start to bloom. Shrubs like forsythia, camellias and rhododendrons will be starting into bloom as well.

We can still get frosts so take care of anything tender, covering with fleece if necessary.

With the rise in temperatures grass will start to grow so we will have to start mowing. Take care not to cut too low at first, your mower blades should be at their highest setting. You can also repair any bare patches in your lawn by using MiracleGro Patch Magic.

Check out our range of seeds from Thompson & Morgan, you will find that there are very many varieties, both edible and ornamental, that can be sown in March.

Now is also the time to plant summer flowering bulbs and corms such as gladioli and dahlias, but keep watch on the weather forecasts – we can still get frosts.

Your containers will reward you for your labour now, be it dead-heading, top dressing and feeding or indeed planting up afresh. There are plenty of plants to choose from, look for small trees, shrubs and roses. Ericaceous plants are very suitable for containers as you can ensure that they have the right type of soil and feed.

Clean up borders, removing weeds, feed and mulch as you go. Always add mulch to damp soil, never dry, as the idea is to conserve moisture in the soil.

If your perennials are getting congested, lift them, re-planting the healthiest parts.

Don’t be tempted to cut back foliage from early flowering bulbs when they have finished, they should be left to die back naturally to boost the bulbs for the next season.

Start your feeding regime now both in the borders and vegetable and fruit gardens.

Things to do during March

Undercover in a greenhouse/propagator try:

Asters, Brachyscombe, Bizzy Lizzie, Dahlia, Geraniums, Petunias and Stocks

Outdoors you can sow: California Poppies, Cornflowers, Sweet Peas and Wildflower Mix

Herbs to start undercover: Basil, Lemon Balm, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme

Vegetables to sow directly into the soil: Beetroot, Broad Beans, Cabbages, Calabrese, Carrots, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, Parsnips, Spinach, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard and Turnips

Sow between rows as a catch crop: Lettuce, Radish and Spinach

Wildlife Gardening for March

There is still time to put up nest boxes

Continue to put out food for the birds

Make sure your bird bath is topped up with clean water

Build a shelter for wildlife from logs, twigs or rock

Help nesting birds by tying up bunches of little twigs, moss and other suitable material.

Plant of the month

Pansy and Viola

All your hard work now will be worth it when you see lovely shrubs and trees, lush green lawns and tasty homegrown fruit and vegetables.

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The Garden CentreTo Visit in Essex

We have parking spaces for up to 450 cars and easy access both onto and off of the A127, which is the main dual-carriage way into Southend-on-Sea. The A127 is off Junction 29 of the M25 which is a 10 minute drive to our door. Plan your visit to Summerhill today. We can’t wait to see you.

Summerhill Garden Centre, Pipps Hill Road North, A127 Arterial Road, Billericay, Essex CM11 2UJ