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What to plant in March & everything you need to do in the garden this month

what to plant in march march gardening jobs
Everything you need to do in the garden in MarchCBCK-Christine - Getty Images

Gardening in March: As spring approaches, the weather warms up and the days get longer, and the focus turns to planting and sowing.

Perennials and bulbs

If you haven't cleared away the dead stems in your garden from last year's perennials, now's the last chance to do it before the new growth comes through which makes it really tricky to see what's what. Get to grips with plants such as echinacea and rudbeckias and cut them back as close as you can to the ground.

'Roses can be pruned now. Train climbing roses into a fan shape; horizontal branches produce the most flowering shoots. Cut out some of the oldest branches. Shrub roses can be cut back to around 8ins (20cm) from the ground to just above a healthy bud,' says Angela Slater, Hayes Garden World's gardening expert.

Also keep an eye out for plants that you can divide. Look out for any congested clumps of perennials such as persicaria, geraniums, daylily and iris – in fact, pretty much anything with lots of stems.

Top tip: Dividing a plant will keep it healthy and enable you to double your stock!

Plant biennials such as Bellis, forget-me-nots, wallflowers and pansies; they will flower the following year.

Prepare to sow

If you've already done your winter digging, you only need to make final preparations to get your soil ready for sowing. 'Hoe off any weeds, take out any stones or bits of old roots and rubbish, sprinkle a light coating of general-purpose organic fertiliser over the area, and rake the surface down, leaving a seedbed the texture of cake crumbs,' advises Steve Guy, Market Director of Outdoor at B&Q.

Fruit and vegetables

'This is the time to be sowing vegetable seeds and placing in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame,' says Angela. 'Check the sowing conditions as some may need to be placed in a heated propagator, such as tomatoes, aubergines, chillies and cucumbers.'

Sow lettuces, tomatoes, salads and cauliflowers under cover. Outside, you can sow peas, carrots, beetroot, summer and autumn cabbages, herbs, leeks, spinach, turnips, spring onions, broad beans, Brussels sprouts and parsnips.

This is also a good time to start planting out early potatoes, onions, garlic and shallots. Permanent crops, such as asparagus and strawberries, can also be planted now.

'Most vegetables grow best in rich soil and you can enrich yours by adding things like bark, manure and grass clippings,' advises Chris Bonnett from

Bare-root roses

March is the latest you should plant bare-root roses. These are usually purchased by mail order and arrive, as the name suggests, not in a container but with their roots exposed, so it's very important to get the plants into the ground as soon as possible.

Roses appreciate well-drained, rich earth, so pile in plenty of well-rotted manure or other soil improver before you plant.

Summer bulbs

'As spring settles in, the soil will be warming, making it a good time to plant bulbs so that they're ready for summer, giving you a beautiful and bright garden for entertaining,' says Chris.

Plant summer bulbs such as gladioli, crocosmia, lilies and agapanthus outside. You can pretty much forget about them once they're in and they'll be a wonderful surprise once August arrives. Or put some dahlias in pots under cover where they can start to grow – they can then be planted out once the danger of frost has passed.

Small space? Too much choice? This is what you should focus on in March

If you're short on outdoor space or you're spoilt for choice with all the varieties on offer, Marcus Eyles, Resident gardening expert and Horticultural Director at Dobbies, has shared several plants you should focus on in your garden this month.

what to plant in march march gardening jobs
Getty Images

Hardy plants: Blossom (e.g. Magnolias & Cherries & Clematis Montana)

Flower garden: Lupins, Delphiniums, Hollyhocks & Foxgloves

Bedding plants: Dianthus including Pink Kisses

Grow your own: Herbs & Strawberries


Bees will start to emerge from their winter homes and look for new places to nest. To welcome bees into your garden, sow or plant pollinating plants such as lavender, foxgloves or euphorbia.

You can also create a safe haven for insects with a bug hotel. You can buy one or you can make your own: all you need to do is find a sheltered spot, and then fill with pots, pipes and natural materials. Follow our guide on how to make a bug hotel in five easy steps.

macro of bee on a lavender flower
PaoloBis - Getty Images

Don’t neglect the lawn

'Tidy the edges of your lawn and prepare any new areas for sowing grass,' suggests Chris. 'Treat unwanted moss that has grown over the autumn and winter. To get rid of moss simply apply some moss killer or lawn sand.'

Clean the patio

After the winter months, there's probably a build-up of dirt and grime so the beginning of spring is a good time to get this all cleaned. 'This can be done with a jet wash, or by mixing water and vinegar together and scrubbing with a garden broom,' Chris adds.

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