March in the garden

Posted on: 8th March, 2016

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: John Hosford

As the months move on there is ever-lengthening days and we start to entertain the hope of more sunshine and calmer, brighter days after a winter of incessant wind and rain. Let us hope some balance returns to the weather from now on.

Jobs for the Month: Protect newly emerging shoots of perennials and bulbs from slugs, which have remained very active throughout this exceptionally, wet and mild winter.

Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes where both soil and weather conditions permit.

Plant summer flowering bulbs such as Gladioli, Nerines, Crocosmias, Anemones. Nerines should be planted in full sun with good drainage. Add plenty of grit when planting. Allow the shoots to protrude above the soil. Lilies should be planted without delay and should be left hanging around too long or they will shrivel. Add plenty of organic material at planting. Plant two to three times the depth of the bulb.

Begonias and Dahlias may be started off indoors in pots, trays or containers. Pot up in to good potting compost. Gradually increase watering as days become longer and growth accelerates. Grow them on in a frost-free greenhouse or bright porch, sunroom or garden shed. They may then be thoroughly hardened-off and acclimatised for planting in their summer quarters at the end of May.

Perennials that haven’t been divided with several years may be split up this month. Plant, adding plenty of organic material, as soon as possible after dividing, Hostas, Astilbes, Phlox and Lythrum will be especially appreciative of this generous treatment.

Containers containing overwintered conifers or shrubs will benefit from a top dressing of some fresh compost. Add too some slow release fertiliser. If your plants are lime haters such as Camellias, Heathers, Azaleas or Rhododendrons, use an appropriate ericaceous fertilizer-these are now readily available in a slow release format as well.

Cut back Dogwoods and Willow: Cornus (Dogwood) and Salix (willow), which have provided colourful winter bark, may now be trimmed back to encourage a new flush of growth. Use sharp secateurs or loppers when pruning. Feed and mulch generously after pruning to encourage a healthy crop of new shoots.

Greenhouse: Open up the greenhouse and conservatory on warm, sunny days. Close well before dusk. Get stocks of fresh compost for the greenhouse.

Get a stock of grow-bags in readiness for the tomato plants. Clean the glass thoroughly removing dirt, grime and algae. Repair broken glass. Repair polythene on polytunnels with repair tape available from McLaughlins, Bandon Medical Hall, 5/6 Bridge St., Bandon 023-8841115.

Get Bare Root Trees, Hedging, Windbreaks planted: Wrap up planting of bare root trees, hedging and windbreaks before the end of March. Hedging and windbreaks are terrific additions to the home and garden reducing the impact of wind and most significant reduction of noise levels. Needless to say trees and hedging make ideal habitats for wildlife and is generally beneficial to biodiversity. Shelterbelts are beneficial to farm animals. Trees and hedging can make working areas more pleasant and comfortable and help to reduce heating and fuel bills.

Choose native broadleaves and Scots Pine in rural landscapes. Young trees should be well protected against livestock, rabbits and hares. Deer fencing will be required where deer are a problem. Young trees and hedging should be kept clear of smothering weeds.

Fruit Trees: Apply sulphate of potash to cane fruit. Complete mulching of cane fruit, currants, gooseberries. Protect blossom of early flowering fruit when frost is forecast. Continue planting of Apple and Pear trees. Plant rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb easy to grow but avoid a soil that is waterlogged over a prolonged period. Add plenty of well rotten farmyard manure prior to planting. Rake in Growmore fertiliser shortly before planting and keep well watered during dry periods.

Remove any flowering shoots that may appear. Feed the Rhubarb regularly throughout the summer with a liquid feed such as tomato food or a liquid seaweed based fertiliser.

Mulch with compost or well rooted manure in January or February. Begin pulling the sticks in April. Do not remove any stalks after July. Don’t harvest in the first year after planting. Generally a period of 12-18 months has allowed to elapse before harvesting.

Tomato plants may be planted by late March. Early plantings should be well protected against frost. Tomatoes come in a wide range of varieties. Qualities to look out for when choosing Tomato varieties include: fruit size; flavour; blight/disease resistance; fruit colour; varieties suitable for hanging baskets such as Tumbling Tom.

Latest News Articles:

Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme

Join us on Facebook

Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
... See MoreSee Less

8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
... See MoreSee Less

15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

Jump to: