The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, the frost is thawing. That’s right, it’s almost spring! It’s finally warm enough for us to get out our gloves and start planning our gardens for the new season.
Here’s what to plant in March, from fruits and vegetables to summer flowering bulbs.
Bare Root Roses
March is the last month you can plant your bare-root roses. Plant in well-drained and rich soil for gorgeous blooms throughout the spring and summer.
Gladioli bulbs and corms are essential for summer garden displays. Their tall and colourful blooms add plenty of texture and excitement to beds and borders, as well as attracting wildlife! Plant your bulbs this month into position for a striking show come summer.
Bulbs are one of the best ways to grow your favourite seasonal blooms! Their easy to grow nature makes it effortless to produce a gorgeous display throughout each season, perfect for beginners and bulb novices.
In this gardening for beginners guide, you will learn how to plant bulbs, when to plant them, and where you can plant them in the garden for an exciting seasonal show.
Why Should You Choose Bulbs?
First things first – why bulbs? It’s simple really. Bulbs are both easy to plant and grow, perfect for someone with little gardening experience.
Each bulb holds energy, which provides life to the plant or flower. They’re space efficient, so if you have a garden that’s on the smaller side, you can still achieve a gorgeous display. In fact, you could argue that they’re even easier to grow than seeds, as you can decide exactly where each bulb is planted and plan your displays accordingly.
How to Plant Your Bulbs
As we have already mentioned, bulbs are easy to grow. Most bulbs are planted similarly, making it easier for you to do loads at once. The only thing that will make the process different is the size of the bulb. The bigger the bulb, the deeper it must be planted.
For flower beds and borders, plant your bulbs at a depth that is three times their height and spaced apart three times their width. For bigger bulbs, if you are unsure then it’s best to plant them deeper than too shallow. Place the bulb with the pointy end facing upwards. Cover with soil once planted and water generously.
To plant in pots, fill midway with compost leaving enough room to plant your bulbs at the right depth. Pop each bulb on top of the compost, spacing them apart evenly. Cover with soil towards the top of the pot and water well.
When’s the Best Time to Plant Your Bulbs?
This will depend on the type of flower you’re wanting to plant. However, a lot of bulbs should be planted in early to late Autumn, which is a common planting season for early spring and early summer blooms.
Early spring bulbs – For plants like snowdrops, hyacinths, and daffodils, plant before the end of September.
Hardy summer bulbs – For blooms like alliums and lilies, aim for late September to October.
Delicate summer bulbs – For flowers like gladioli, plant in early spring.
Autumn bulbs – Plant autumn flowering bulbs like nerines by late summer.
Where Can You Grow Bulbs?
Different bulbs prefer different climates. Hardier bulbs like the sunlight, so it’s best to position them in sunny areas of the garden. Bulbs that prefer shade, like woodland flowers, don’t mind being planted under trees and shadier spots. Make sure you check before planting, as this could damage the chances of growing a healthy and happy plant.
Looking to add something a little special to your dishes? Dip, drizzle or fry these delicious homemade infused-oils and take your meals to the next level. Discover how to make your own garlic & rosemary, basil and chilli infused oils in the comfort of your own home.
Colour is essential to gardening; it can transform any space and make it feel brighter or even bigger. A gardens colour scheme also help us to showcase our personality and our taste. However, getting started can be confusing, especially if you’re new to growing your own garden.
So how do you plan a colour coordinated garden display? It’s not as hard as it may seem, and we’re here to show you how.
Why Is Colour Coordinating so Important?
As we mentioned, colour schemes can make or break a garden. A cohesive and well thought out display will make a huge impact compared to a mishmash of both bold and relaxed colour.
You can transform the entire mood of any outdoor space through your gardens colour scheme. Blues and whites can make a garden feel peaceful and bigger, whereas bold and bright colours might make a smaller garden feel even smaller as the colour appears to be closer.
How to Use Colour In the Garden
To start off, decide on what colours you prefer. What is your favourite colour? What colour would you like to wake up to every morning? Which colours will have a positive impact on your mood? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself before you begin.
Next, think about what you’d like to achieve in your garden. For example, if you’d like your garden to feel bigger, then maybe it’s best to go for cooler tones like whites, greens, and blues.
When trying to plan a complete colour scheme, think of the colour wheel. Colours that complement each other will make an overall better display, rather than one that’s a bit mismatched and eclectic.
Don’t forget that green foliage is also a colour in your garden! Green has a calming effect, perfect for pairing with both soft and bold colours.
It’s that time of year again! We want to thank all of the entrants for joining in and helping make this year’s Community Garden Competition a success. We’ve received so many heart-warming and inspirational entries this year. We deeply appreciate everyone who has shared their local community’s story with us.
So why wait any longer? Keep reading to discover who are our community garden winners!
Snowshill Drive Community Garden
In 2019, Andy P. decided that a unused green space just 500m from his front door had potential.
Between donations and personal spends, in 2020 the area has been filled with wildlife-friendly shrubs and flowers. Local businesses donated a lawn mover, a recycled plastic park bench, and a local letting agent donated towards the creation of a rose garden.
Elderly folk who are unable to tend a garden, and people who suffer mental illness have become regular visitors to the garden. Now, the space is a tranquil, relaxing space for the community. Families also use the garden for picnics in the warmer months, and local workers use the space as a lunchtime retreat.
Andy wants to use the prize to help with his next project; creating a shrub border alongside the footpath.
Since 2016, Tadcrafters CIC in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire has supported a range of charities and causes. From promoting craft skills, enabling people to learn new skills and developing social networks in and around the town.
In 2020, a neglected garden (originally a 17th Century Quaker burial ground) was taken on by the local community. This formed a new gardening group, bringing together existing and aspiring gardeners of all ages to restore the garden. The aims of the project is to create a welcoming, wildlife-friendly space for everyone to enjoy. As well as providing a place to meet, sit, chat, garden and appreciate the surroundings.
Whilst the project has the support of both the town and district councils, they have no funding resources in place. Therefore, a donation of plants and bulbs would be a very welcome boost to the plans to create a beautiful community garden.
Gretton Court is an extra care facility in Melton Mowbray, Leicester. Provided by Leicestershire County and Melton Borough Councils, the facility allows elderly and disabled residents to live independently in a safe environment with the extra support they need.
In 2017 and after 5 years of fundraising, The Friends of Gretton Court (a volunteer group) opened a sensory garden for the use of Gretton Court residents, their families and the wider local community. The garden provides a safe environment to meet and enjoy the outside in a varied garden. Designed to be friendly for the sight impaired and wheelchair users, the sounds, smells and beautiful sights in the garden have helped to stimulate memories and wellbeing, Past residents are also displayed as memory leaves on the feature stainless steel Memory Tree. During the pandemic, the garden has allowed people to meet outside safely.
The volunteer group hope that winning one of our prizes will help continue and extend the objective of the garden by displaying plants and shrubs on as wide a season as possible.
If you’re new to gardening, it might feel like there’s so much to learn and so little time to learn it in. This is completely normal, as there are so many different plants and flowers that require individual attention and care.
We have pulled together a list of 10 secrets you should know before getting started for an easy gardening process.
Perennials require your patience Perennial plants are a gardeners bread and butter. However, they can take 2-3 years to grow to their full height and potential. This is completely normal, but something to bear in mind when planning your seasonal displays.
Pick a Season Before starting your gardening journey, decide on a specific flowering season before buying plants and flowers. It’s best to learn the basics in one season at a time, rather than trying to master them all at once.
Know Your Hardiness Zone Wherever your live, you will have a hardiness zone. This tells you which plants will survive different weather conditions in your area. For example, you might struggle to find winter flowers that thrive in your garden if you often experience particularly harsh weather.
Dead Heading Flowers Promotes Healthy Growth If you’re new to gardening, dead heading healthy buds might seem ridiculous, but there is method to the madness. Many flowers will fade before their season has ended, leaving your display feeling sad and dejected. Deadheading your flowers will encourage the bulb to continuously provide new flowers to keep your display looking fresher for longer.
Understand Your Plants Needs Specifically, how much sunlight does your plant need? Failure to plan will decrease your plants chance of survival throughout the season. Make sure you know where to grow each plant and how much sunlight it will need to grow properly.
6. Make Your Own Mulch and Compost Natural compost and mulch will do your plants more good than chemical fertilizers. Going DIY on your plants will also help the environment, reducing your carbon footprint where it matters. Read our blog on how to create a sustainable garden for more information on DIY compost.
7. Spring Flowering Bulbs By general rule of thumb, plant your hardy spring-flowering bulbs in autumn before the first frosts. Cover with mulch to keep warm and protect against the harsh winter weather.
8. Know Your Soils Quality If you’ve recently started gardening or have just moved into a new home, you may not know if your soil is plant ready. The best soil is well-drained, filled with natural amendments such as organic compost and manure. It should accept water easily, and only use fertilizer if you know it’s organic.
9. Water Your Plants Correctly Many online sources might tell you to water your plants regularly, especially throughout summer. However, it’s usually best to give your ground plants a deep watering once a week to make sure the water reaches the root. Regular light watering only dampens the top of the soil and doesn’t actually reach the root.
10. Be In Control of Your Weeds Weeds are a gardeners worst nightmare. By their nature, they are annoying and stubborn, and it can be easy to grab a toxic weeding solution to get rid of the problem quickly. However, the most effective way to weed your garden is by hand or by hoe. Take your time to ensure the entire weed is out of the ground.
As spring approaches and frosts begin to clear, you start to notice the carnage that winter had on your garden. When the weather slowly but surely gets warmer, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to get our tools out, put our gloves on, and get to work.
If your garden is in desperate need of a spring clean, these jobs will help you to get your ducks in a row before the season officially begins.
Inspect Your Flower Beds
If you’ve left your annual plants, then chances are that they’re looking a bit worse for wear by the time spring arrives. It’s time to dig them up and throw them into the compost! This is also the perfect time to inspect your beds, pull up any weeds, and give your flower beds an all-round tidy.
Prune, Prune, & Prune Some More
Winter zaps life out of our beautiful plants, leaving your garden feeling bare and a bit sad. In our spring clean, we can make a big difference to our gardens appearance by giving our perennials and evergreens a bit of a trim and cutting back any long and unnecessary branches. Take time to inspect all your woody bushes, shrubs, perennials and grasses so that you feel the full effect!
Clean Up Your Edges
Mulch is like the golden grail of soil additives. It helps your soil to retain water, nourishes your plants, provides nutrients, and goes as far as cooling down the roots on warmer days. This might be a step you wait to do until late March once the weather warms up, as it’s best to add mulch when the soil dries up a bit.
And finally, before planting your annual summer plants and blooms, give your flower beds that extra edge (pun intended) by edging the grass and trimming the line between your flower bed and your lawn. Not only does it give it a clean and crisp effect, but it will add that perfect final flourish to end your spring clean.
Originating from subtropical and tropical climates, begonias are the perfect plant for a long-lasting display of showy, exotic flowers. With spring planting season coming up, discover the best times for planting begonias, as well as our top tips on how to plant them in beds, baskets and pots.
When to plant tubers
A tuber is an enlarged storage organ that grows beneath the soil surface. They are super easy to plant and easy to care for. Start growing begonia tubers in early spring, between March and April.
When to plant begonia plants
Plant begonia plug plants outdoors in late spring after the soil has warmed up and all danger of frost has passed.
How to plant begonias in beds and borders
Plant tubers 5-7.5cm (2-3in) deep in fertile well-drained soil and in a sunny, sheltered position.
Space tubers 2cm (¾in) apart and 2.5cm (1in) deep.
As a general rule, plant out in the garden once danger of frost has passed.
Plug plants require potting and growing on for a month or so if you want filler plants for beds and containers.
Pot on into larger pots as soon as possible.
Place them in a well lit, ventilated and reasonably warm such as a greenhouse or windowsill to grow on.
Once the plants have rooted into the compost, and the risk of frost has passed, your plugs are ready for planting out in the garden.
Simply dig a whole wide enough to hold the plug plant, place the plant inside the hole and cover the edges with soil.
Finally, gently firm the plug into the hole and water.
How to plant begonias in baskets & pots
Fill the pot or basket with a moist sandy potting compost about 2 inches (5cm) from the top.
Place the tuber rounded side down and gently push into the compost, fill the pot to the rim with compost and water in.
Try planting three 5/6cm tubers into an average hanging basket or 5 tubers in a 30cm container.
Pot plugs on into larger pots as soon as possible.
Place them in a well lit, ventilated and reasonably warm such as a greenhouse or windowsill to grow on.
When they have grown sufficiently, they will need to be transplanted into pots and slowly hardened off before planting into hanging baskets and pots outside.
A rough guide is one plant per inch of hanging basket diameter. This would mean you would need 12 plants to a 12” or 30 cm hanging basket.
A 12” pot or patio container will look well filled with 8 rather than 12 plants.
Fresh, delicious and rewarding, strawberries are such a versatile fruit and so easy to grow, making them ideal for beginners, as well as well-versed gardeners. With planting season on the horizon, discover when and how to plant strawberries and grow a bountiful harvest in summer.
When to Plant Strawberries
The optimal time to plant loose-rooted strawberries is between March and April for summer harvests. Whereas potted strawberries can be planted as soon as they arrive in the springtime.
The planting process
Learn how to prepare, plant and grow strawberries with these tips.
Plant in a full sun position to produce the largest yields.
Strawberry plants like space. Measure out planting holes 35cm (14in) apart. Space rows 75cm (30in) apart. Dig out a hole large enough to accommodate the roots to allow runners to take hold and roots to establish.
Spread out the roots of each strawberry plant. In the bottom of the hole, create a mound or hill of soil that is flush with the surrounding soil level. Place the strawberry plant on top of the hill inside the hole, so that the crown is at soil level and spread the roots out down the sides.
Finally, fill in the hole. Press to firm the soil around the roots and then water thoroughly.
If you’ve planted cold-stored runners in late spring to early summer, leave the flowers on. Consequently, these will produce strawberries in 60 days, reverting to their natural cropping period the following year.
Mulch the strawberry bed with shredded leaves, pine needles, compost, or straw. This will keep the soil temperature down, mitigates any weed problem, and keeps the fruit cleaner by keeping the strawberries off of the dirt.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, 2020 saw over 3.5 million taking up gardening for the first time. With this new burst of love for gardening, community gardening is on the rise. They can be used to grow fresh fruit and vegetables, provide a place for wildlife, and safe public spaces in urban areas. With hundreds of community gardens popping up around the UK, discover some of our favourite community gardens renowned for their beauty.
Mount Pleasant Community Garden, Cornwall
Near Porthtowan in Cornwall, the Mount Pleasant Community Garden has been developed as a flexible, imaginative community resource. The ethos of the space focuses on providing a productive, sustainable and beautiful community space for all to enjoy.
Since autumn 2010, the Mount Pleasant Community Garden has provided an organic growing space for their local community. Now, along with their large onsite growing space, is a rain water harvesting system, and a composting space and polytunnel. Their fantastic community project focuses on increasing the knowledge and access to healthy fresh fruit and vegetables.
Culpeper Community Garden, Islington
A green oasis in the heart of busy Islington.Culpeper Community Garden is one of the most valued green public spaces in the city. Serving as a park and an environmental community project, their organic garden bursts with a rich variety of plants.
The organic garden comprises a lawn, ponds, rose pergolas, ornamental beds, vegetable plots, seating and a wildlife area. It also contains 50 plots including 2 raised beds for disabled gardeners. These small gardens are for community groups, children, and for people living nearby who do not have gardens.
Martineau Gardens, Birmingham
Martineau Gardens form a therapeutic environment of over two acres of organically maintained land, two miles from the City Centre. The Gardens include a substantial wildlife area, formal gardens, a vegetable plot, an orchard and herb beds.
As an oasis for wildlife, a haven of tranquillity, and a destination for an outdoor escape, there are two and a half beautiful acres at this stunning garden worth exploring. The community garden focuses on social inclusivity by promoting volunteers to mix with other people, to join in purposeful activities, and improve their physical fitness and emotional wellbeing.