Every gardener feels a thrill of excitement when March arrives. There is so much happening in the garden, now and so much to look forward to. Plus, the work you put in now will pay dividends all summer long. So, if you want a garden full of blooms, or abundant with fruit and veg, now is the time to get started on some March gardening jobs.
March is a great time to make plans and get prepared. Take some time to envision what you want your garden to look like for the year ahead. If you want to make major changes, such as new structures or replacing a lawn or planting trees, now is the time to start. If you need help with major landscaping now is the time to consult a professional, too.
From weeding and mulching to planting and sowing seeds, the work you do now will pay off in March and beyond.
Here are some March gardening jobs to get you off to a great year in the garden.
With the cold and frosty weather mostly over, now is a good time to mulch any bare soil. With warmer weather coming, water begins to evaporate from the soil. A thick layer of mulch will help prevent moisture loss as well as suppressing any weeds.
Your grass will be beginning to grow now as the weather warms up. Mow it on a dry, mild day if you can. Regular lawn maintenance is better for your grass than major haircuts, so try to mow once or twice a week in the warmer months. Recutting lawn edges will neaten up your garden, too. If your lawn has major issues, get advice now, as spring is the ideal time for renovating lawns, sowing seed and laying turf.
Warmer weather also means more weeds and pests in the garden. Now is a good time to hoe any weed seedlings as keeping on top of them will allow your plant to flourish. Pests begin to come into the garden now, too, so you may need to protect vulnerable plants. Avoid using pesticides as these may harm beneficial wildlife. With care, you can create a balance in your garden and encourage natural predators who will keep pests at bay as well as helping with pollination. Simple solutions such as slug traps, copper bands and netting can protect plants without harming wildlife.
Now for the fun part. March is the ideal time to begin your summer planting. Decide what you would like to grow in your borders and veg patch now so you can get a head start. You can save a lot of money by planting summer bedding from seed. You can also plant hardy annuals directly into the soil – poppies and cornflowers add height and colour to the summer border.
Now is also the perfect time to plant summer flowering bulbs such as lilies, crocosmia, gladiolus, dahlia, allium and iris. You can plant sweet peas under cover now ready to plant out in a few weeks. If you are planning a wildflower garden, you can sow wildflower mixes directly into the soil.
If you have a veg garden there are lots of things you can plant in March. Early potatoes, shallots, and onions can go in the ground now. Hardy herbs such as dill, chives, marjoram, and coriander can be sown now, too.
If you have a greenhouse you can sow a greater selection of veg and flowers under cover now. Start by giving the greenhouse a good clean to let all the sunshine in.
You can propagate summer blooms like Marigolds, Chrysanthemums, Pelargoniums, Carnations, Impatiens, Fuchsias and Begonias in the greenhouse in preparation for warmer days in summer when they can be transplanted outside.
There are lots of things you can do to support and encourage wildlife in your garden at this time of year. Birds will be working hard to build nests in preparation for chicks. Give them a helping hand by providing appropriate food in protected locations. Clean bird feeders regularly to prevent spreading disease and remember to provide clean water for drinking and bathing, too.
To encourage bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects you can provide bug hotels and feeding stations as well as planning your planting to provide suitable food sources for essential pollinators.
Hedgehogs will begin coming out of hibernation now. Provide food and shelter as well as easy access in and out can make your garden and you may soon have some prickly friends moving in. These cute creatures will eat beetles, earwigs, caterpillars and slugs to keep populations under control with no need for pesticides.
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