March the first month of spring and the garden is coming alive with the colour of spring bulbs. In flower are Crocus, Daffodils, scented Narcissus, Fritillaria meleagris (common name' Snakes Head Fritillary') and the delicate Erythronium.
Gardening calendars are only a guide because so much depends on the weather in March, sometimes it can be spring like, other times cold and frosty. The weather will affect the degree to which the soil has warmed up ready for planting.
Books and magazines are full of ideas for plants to buy and plant out in March, but in many parts of the country March can be a cold month with frosts. Be cautious about planting frost tender plants (check out 'frost tender') unless you have time, (and energy) to protect them with fleece and cloches because one frost can do a lot of damage.
There are some warmer days, and with the increasing light levels it is a good time to sow seeds for later in the year.
Ideas and tips on germinating from seed and also a video with advice on how to sow and germinate from seed successfully.
As the soil warms up, so do the slugs. Emerging delicate shoots of the herbaceous plants, such as Hosta, Delphinium and lupins are the tastiest snack for a slug. Start protecting the plants; tips on how to beat the slugs.
If you are making an early start, a greenhouse, sunny porch or under glass is ideal for containers such as hanging baskets and with bedding ready for later in the year. Growing them on under glass for a few weeks helps to get the plants established in the container before exposing them to the weather. We can grow any veg and bedding plants on in the greenhouse to make sturdy plants, and then "hardened off", which means gradually accustomed to the harsher outside weather, before planting out.