As the 1st March arrived the other day, it heralded the start of another Spring – traditionally the beginning of the gardening year. David Patch from RV Roger Ltd nurseries gives some practical tips for March 
It’s a time when thoughts turn to planting seeds, perhaps old favourites which never fail, or new varieties to be tried out. Here at the Nursery the first sunny days of the month have brought an influx of customers looking for flower and vegetable seed, as the days start to lengthen and the soil gradually warms. 
 
Now is also an ideal time to buy potato sets, and to start them ‘chitting’ (producing short stubby shoots) by setting them out on a warm window ledge. 
 
This is especially important for the First Early types, like Arran Pilot, Premiere or Swift, which all grow well in this area, producing classic ‘new’ potatoes. 
Don’t be tempted to plant out too early though – the sun may be starting to warm, but the soil is still cold and damp, and the potatoes will suffer too much of a shock if planted before early April. 
March is one of our busiest times of the year, for as well as being the start of one season, it also marks the end of the bare-root season. Before the advent of plastic pots, almost all plants were grown the way we still do – in nursery fields where they are dug during the winter months ready to be sold.  
 
The advantage of this method is that the plant develops a stronger root system (and generally costs less than the potted equivalent!). March is a great time to plant, as the soil starts to warm – just keep an eye on watering in any dry spells. 
 
The other main event at this time of year is the first outing for the lawnmower. Grass generally needs average temperatures above 5C to grow, and certainly in my garden it is starting to show signs of life. For this first cut, raise the blades on your mower – if left a little longer, the grass will be better able to withstand any cold wet spells later in the month. 

David Patch 

I’ve been working at RV Roger Ltd here in Pickering for over 15 years now. Having previously lived and worked in London my gardening experience was limited to two window boxes, so I arrived knowing very little.  
 
Happily the team here at the nursery have a wealth of experience - no matter what the plant, there is always someone here who knows about it, and in all probability has been growing it for donkeys years – so I’ve managed to pick up a bit along the way!  
 
In this monthly blog, I will be explaining a little about life here on the nursery, and looking at jobs to tackle in your own gardens. 
 
 
 
 
 
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