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Top tips for fruit gardening in March

It might not quite be the weather for sipping a gin and tonic just yet, but spring is around the corner. With that prospect comes plenty of jobs to keep you busy, if growing fruit is on your 2020 gardening agenda.

Remember that late plantings of raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries can still be made in March.

Raspberries

Autumn fruiting canes can be trimmed to ground level, which will stimulate the development and growth of new canes for the coming autumn. Summer-fruiting varieties can be cut at the tip, directly above a bud, if they have grown taller than the top of the support.

Strawberries

Strawberry plants can be covered with cloches at this stage, as this will encourage them to produce fruit earlier in the season.

Blueberries

If you like, blueberries will benefit from the addition of an ericaceous fertiliser just as spring begins.

Rhubarb

Well-rotted manure can be laid in a layer over rhubarb plants during March, leaving the crowns exposed. This will keep them healthy and ensure too much moisture is not lost. The crowns can be covered with old posts or buckets to exclude light if you like, as this will encourage the growth of long, tender fruits.

Stone fruits

Before the season of frosts has passed, peach, apricot and nectarine flowers can be protected with fleece or a screen.

Fruit trees

Fruit trees can be mulched with compost or well-rotted manure, while not allowing mulch to accumulate around the trunks.

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