“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn“.
~ Lewis Grizzard
For gardeners, the arrival of March arouses a sensation others savour only at Christmas. Winter is always a long season for us allotmenteers. Dark, cold and when the distraction of the December festivities have passed, it remains as an obstacle in the way of meeting our desire to sow and grow veg.
March hosts the start of the Astronomical spring twenty days into the month. This is when the dark finally gives way to the light and we leap in to action with the forward movement of the clocks. Wellies donned and a sack full of seeds in hand.
It’s definitely time to get sowing in March sow time! OK, so you may have already started off a few chillies and sweet peas, but March is the true start of the busy sowing months. In fact, it’s a busy month for all things gardening, not just seeds. Onion sets need to be planted, winter weeding completed, bare-root trees planted and, should the rain ever stop, the lawn could do with a first mow.
In this month’s March newsletter, we are going to be discussing all things sowing seeds, our latest offers, Mother’s Day gifts, wildlife to spot in the garden and so much more!
Spring may arrive on the 20th this month, but it doesn’t mean there’s time to wait on the spring gardening jobs! Here’s a list of 10 jobs to get busy on the plot this month:
- Carefully remove the top 5cm of soil from your container-grown plants and replace it with fresh compost.
- On warmer days, leave the greenhouse door open. Not only will this allow essential pollinating insects access it will also reduce the risk of fungal disease. Do remember to close it up at night though!
- Slugs and snails will be out and about this month looking for something on which to munch. Hedgehogs, and birds, especially thrushes, need those slugs and snails, so instead of killing them why not create a natural barrier using our “Slug Gone” 100% pure sheep wool pellets? Your tender plants will be protected and the beneficial wildlife will get to dine.
- Get on top of weeds now before they take hold. It will make your life easier later in the year.
- During a dry spell, set the mower blades high and give the grass its first cut of the year. This will give your garden an instant facelift, although you may also need to tidy up the edges.
- Finish planting new fruit trees and give existing ones a mulch.
- Plant up any over-wintered dahlia tubers or treat yourself to some new ones from the Dobies range.
- Deadhead faded daffodil flowers as this will strengthen them for next year, but the leaves should be left for about another 6 weeks.
- Plant chitted early potatoes from mid-March but keep that fleece handy to give protection against frost.
- Seed potatoes should be set out in trays which are placed in a bright but cool, frost-free situation so that the shoots will form. Plantings of early varieties can be made during March, however, main crop varieties are best planted in April.
Want to know more? Check out our March on the Allotment blog for more tips and tricks on the plot!
March Flowers to Sow
In milder parts of the UK, the soil is starting to warm up for outdoor planting, but if you’re still getting frost, there are plenty of seeds that can be started in a propagator. This includes hardy annuals, sweet peas and much more!
The Calendula Seeds – Bulls Eye are a very unique plant, producing beautiful pom- pom style flowers. These magnificent flowers will not only add fantastic frilly shapes to your flower beds and flower borders but add profusions of bright sunshine yellow colours too. These beautiful bright colours contrast well with the dark flower centres, where they get their namesake the Bull’s Eye.
Growing in compact clusters, these large flowers are perfect for filling flower pots or patio containers. Each flower growing up to 6cm wide, they will create fantastic eye-catching displays around your garden. This variety of Calendula was the winner of the Fleuroselect Novelty Award 2020 and is highly commended by international judges.
Not only does titan produce giant plants but giant flower heads too (up to 60cm [2′] in diameter). You will need a sunny, sheltered site for best results.
Produces edible seeds in abundance and is a great way to help wildlife as it is a great source of food for the birds once the flower goes to seed. RHS Perfect For Pollinators. Height 300-400cm (10-13′). HA – Hardy annual.
The Sweet Pea Seeds – Fire & Ice produce fantastic white, purple and pink flowers accompanied by a strong sweet fragrance. This variety of sweet pea grows with longer stems making them perfect for container and patio pot displays. The Sweet Pea Seeds – Fire & Ice is a Modern Grandiflora type that grows to a height of 151–200cm (59–79″); spread 21–30cm (8–12″). Train them to grow up decorative trellises, obelisks or even arches. Grow them in your flower beds and flower borders for a sweet scented and colourful display.
Sweet peas have been a long standing favourite and it’s clear to see why with bright colours and the added bonus of a fantastic and iconic fragrance. The Sweet Pea Seeds – Fire & Ice flower between June and early September and will transform your garden with vibrant flowers.
New Flower Seed
The Allium cernuum Seeds is a beautiful plant that produces pretty, clump forming perennials. These Alliums form clusters of ‘nodding’ blooms, reminiscent of mini chandeliers. Native to the Great Lakes in the USA and Canada, where the leaves of the Allium cernuum are used just like chives with both the leaves and the flowers being edible. The flowers produced come in a stunning shade of baby pink, ideal for filling your flower beds and flower borders with colour and shapes. Allium cernuum are ideal for container and patio pot flower displays. With white stamens protruding from the beautiful pink flowers you will fall in love with flowers all summer long. Incredibly easy to grow, one established plant will very quickly form these delightful clumps of flowers.
March Veg to Sow
To help you choose from so many, some vegetables to sow in March include early varieties of tomatoes! These will develop well on plants when grown under glass in a heated greenhouse. For quick germination, it is best to sow the seed in a heated propagator or you could use a windowsill.
Say hello to a new superfood and get ready to rethink your salads. Use the red, orange and green leaves to create a vibrant salad or leave them to grow into a delicious alternative to spinach. Harvest April – October. Varieties included: Red Army (red), Passion (variegated) and Green Giant (green).
A fantastic superfood salad that can be grown as a small salad leaf or left to grow into fully grown plants and used in stir-fries or as a spinach substitute. A vibrant mix of colours and mildly flavoured leaves. Harvest April-October. Height 11-20cm (4-8″); spread 11-20cm (4-8″).
Unlike other purple carrots, this one boasts a striking strong purple colour from skin to core . . . which means it’s absolutely packed with vitamins and antioxidants!
The tasty roots are highly pointed at the tip with flat to rounded shoulders and will add colour to any dish. 135 days from sowing to harvest to help with your selection (this is based on Toby’s trials and may vary).
New Veg Seed
Zaragoz F1 is an excellent club root-resistant variety. Tight curds which stay white thanks to the large leaves which protect it from the elements. Extremely high-quality summer/autumn variety, well worth growing. Stands well, can be harvested for a long period without ‘blowing’, avoiding a ‘glut’. Harvest from August-October from an April-June sowing. Improved Variety. Sow indoors or in a cold greenhouse February – May in good quality compost 0.5cm (¼”) deep in trays. When large enough to handle, transplant to individual pots and grow on. Harden off and plant out after the last frosts at a spacing of 60cm and firm plants in well. Keep plants moist as the curds begin to swell, this will help ensure larger harvests and protect plants from butterflies and pigeons by using netting.
March Veg to Plant
Offers This Month
From pretty perennials to flower bed & border fillers and perfect patio plants, choosing new flowers is part of the fun of gardening, and who doesn’t love a good deal?
Need some inspiration? Grow something new this season and take advantage of our special vegetable offers for great quality and value.
Growing fruit plants at home is deliciously satisfying, and our fruit offers mean you can try more varieties for less! From soft berries to crunchy apples, you’ll find your next crop here.
At Dobies, we stock a superb range of excellent garden equipment and tools from the bare essentials to more specialist and luxury items. You can find everything from trowels and spades to powered hedge cutters and leaf blowers, greenhouses and raised beds to hose reels and water butts and much more.
Social Posts of the Month #dobiesgardening
We like to share with the Dobies community what everyone has been up to each month on the plot. It looks like there has been plenty of growing carrots, going mad on seed orders and colourful tomatoes!
Below are our top 5 social posts of the month and if you would like the chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter, all you need to do is tag us and use the hashtag #dobiesgardening.
Follow us on our social media pages and tag us in your posts and you could be featured on our next monthly newsletter!
Mother’s Day Gifts
We have two weeks to find our Mother’s or loved ones a special gift in time for Mother’s Day on Sunday 14th March. Just in time, we have plenty of gifts for the garden for you. Whether your mother is an avid gardener, wildlife lover, a green minded enthusiast or all of the above, then be sure to browse are fantastic range of gardens tools, accessories and must-have gadgets!
Do you know someone who needs a better way to organise their seed collection? and needs a few more seeds to add to that collection too? How about the Dobies seed tin!
Dobies of Devon Seed Tin plus Flower Lover’s Seed Collection (8 varieties) includes: Petunia Tidal Wave Red Velour F1, Antirrhinum Tom Thumb Mixed, Cosmos Early Flowering Sensation Mixed, Calendula Playtime Mixed F1, Zinnia Dahlia-Flowered Mixed, Sweet Pea Old Fashioned Mixed, Cornflower Blue Diadem, Sunflower Titan.
Treat someone special to a new outdoor hat! Perfect for gardening or just spending time outdoors. Tailor made by Yorkshire milliners using twool cloth, each hat is beautifully lined and padded for comfort and durability.
Sustainable twool cloth is made from rare breed Whiteface Dartmoor wool and woven in Yorkshire, it is also treated with an environmental finish that stain and water resists. Traditional flat cap, reworked!
Available in 3 sizes: Small 56cm, Medium 58cm, Large 60cm.
A great gift for the gardener, the best way to commute your gardening tools! Traditionally made from Poplar wood, hand-shaped and with strong handles, these trugs are the essential garden accessory.
Ideal for harvesting time or for carrying your vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Available in 2 sizes: Medium trug measures 40 x 23cm, Large trug measures 57 x 27cm.
If something doesn’t catch your eye and your loved one or Mother prefers to grow their own produce or flower plants, be sure to check out our new veg seed and veg plants, along with our new flower seed and flower plants!
World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day falls on the 3rd of March and it really celebrates wildlife and plants all over the world. At Dobies, birds and wildlife have always been important to us and there are so many ways you can offer a helping hand to your own garden wildlife, on more days than just one. However, World Wildlife Day is a super important event because it raises awareness of the extraordinary wildlife we have around us today. With numbers of endangered and extinct species on the rise, this day is an excellent event to further educate people on the ways we can help conserve and support the planet to continue to provide for future generations and our beloved wildlife.
Here are just a few ways you can help the wildlife in your garden and home!
British Wildlife to Look Out for in the Garden
The warm weather in March invites feathery new arrivals to our gardens. Some even lay eggs! All kinds of wildlife is going to begin to stir this month, including robins, sparrows and blackbirds building their nests, and hedgehogs and frogs resurfacing after hibernation. The drone fly is another one found in many gardens, and here are some images to put a face to the name!
How to Help
You can offer a helping hand to these species with just a few simple steps. For birds building their nests, why not tie up some tiny twigs, dried moss and other strong veg ofcuts around your feeders. To welcome frogs without having a pond, place a washing up bowl in the ground in a quiet and shady place in the garden. You could even place a stone by to help them get in and out! Make sure to keep your bird feeders topped up and think about bumblebees and slow worms too. You could gather up your lawn clipping, dry them out and then place them in a dry spot in the garden. This will encourage them both! Finally, for our beloved pollinators, fill your garden with nectar and pollen-rich flowers, we have loads of varieties to choose from!
This month should be a busy one and there’s plenty to be done on the plot. If you have enjoyed reading, please come back next month and check out our April newsletter. Remember to share any of your growing antics with us this March on our social media pages!
Check out our latest blog posts below!