Now is the time to spring into action and get your body and garden into shape for the year ahead. Cultivating flowers, crops and herbs from seed is also a rewarding way to grow, and perfect if you’re gardening on a budget, or want to involve children. Many gardening activities like sowing, potting, watering and planting bring with them the rewards of nurturing and watching plants grow and flourish. By producing wonderful displays and enjoying the fruits of your labours you’ll be satisfying an intrinsic need for creativity and achievement, both important for our mental health and well-being. Just being outdoors in the fresh air, listening to the birds singing instils a feeling of happiness and relaxation. A few minutes a day relieves anxiety and stress, and restores mental balance. To quote ‘Gardening: better than therapy, and you get tomatoes!’.
Gardening is excellent exercise, too. Gently stretching and bending while planting and weeding helps keep you fit and flexible. More active gardening like digging, clearing, raking, sweeping and lawn mowing will also raise your heart rate, and burn off more calories too. Just an hour of active gardening could use around 250 – 500 calories. So, forget joining an expensive gym and get active outdoors in your garden instead.
For instant impact choose plants at their best through spring including daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinth and other flowering bulbs, all perfect for partnering in patio pots and flower beds with seasonal bedding like pansy, viola, wallflower, bellis, forget-me-not, primula and polyanthus.
If you don’t feel you can garden alone, why not invite your neighbours or a friend to help out in return for plants or produce, or a reciprocal arrangement, especially if they don’t have access to a green space. Buddy gardening is a very effective way of sharing the heavier jobs, or can be as simple as motivating others to spend time together.
March also brings with it Mothering Sunday on 22nd. This is the perfect time to remember and spoil our mothers who invariably put the rest of us before themselves. We have a lovely range of cards and gifts, together with beautiful houseplants which will ensure your mother is spoiled this year. We are also having a special Mothering Sunday Lunch of Roast Lamb with the usual trimmings, followed by our Special Trifle or Fruit Salad. Please book early as places are limited or phone us for more information.
I am hoping that the weather has improved by the time you read this, so here are a few jobs that we can get on with in the garden this month … however, if your lawn is still squelchy, try not to walk on it to much as the ground will get compacted and the grass will struggle to grow.
THINGS TO DO IN MARCH
- Mulch bare soil in borders and beds using composted bark or your own from the compost heap. Or shred the trimmings from shrubs etc and use this.
- Move evergreen shrubs if required. Try to take as big a root ball as possible, and ensure that it doesn’t dry out by wrapping in an old bag (the ones multipurpose compost comes in are perfect.
- Reseed bare patches on the lawn. Placing sprigs of holly over the top will deter cats from doing what they do naturally!
- Mow lawns regularly (only if the ground is not saturated!)
- Retrieve pumps from store and put them in the pond.
- Prune bush and shrub roses.
- Prune shrubs with colourful winter stems. Shred and add to your compost heap.
- Renovate climbers and plant new ones. Check that any wire and fixings are solid after the winter onslaught.
- Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials. Use two forks back to back to separate. Add compost or a handful of farmyard manure when replanting to get them going well.
- Split polyanthus after flowering.
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs. We have bulb fibre and some fabulous bulbs in stock now.
- Sow hardy annuals where they are to flower. Mix fine seeds with a little sand to get an even sowing.
- Sow sweet peas outdoors or plant out young plants.
- Pinch out tips of young sweet peas to encourage sideshoots.
- Water indoor plants regularly, now the weather is warmer. Start to feed, but gently at first.
- Protect young, tender plants from slugs. We have a variety of methods available in the Shop, both organic and chemical.
- Cut down old growth left over the winter.
- Sow vegetables outside. Consider covering with fleece if very cold though.
- Plant early potatoes.
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO….
- Finish planting bare-root trees and shrubs, and new fruit trees and bushes.
- Plant snowdrops and winter aconites. Please ensure these come from a reliable source and not the wild.
GET IN FRONT….
- Put stakes and other plant supports in before the new growth really needs them.