With Spring truly on its way now and the clocks going forward, there’s plenty to be doing in the garden. March gardening is all about setting yourself up for the return of warmer days. With a little preparation, you’ll have an outdoor space filled with colourful blooms and happy wildlife. This is an important month for wildlife when insects start becoming more abundant, birds begin working on their nests and smaller mammals come out of their winter hibernation.
- Mulch to protect soil: bare soil is in a vulnerable state as it’s coming out of frosty weather and heading into drier, warmer days. This means water will start evaporating from the soil; to ensure that doesn’t happen too much, a good layer of organic mulch can keep water in and also help stop the growth of unwanted weeds.
- Begin mowing the lawn: grass will now start growing more steadily. A lawn will stay greener the less you take from it each time you mow so little and often is ideal this time of year.
- Plan your summer planting: start thinking ahead to summer and begin planting your summer flowering bulbs.
- Protect plants from pests: warmer weather means more pests will be coming into the garden. Try to stick to natural pesticides where possible and if chemicals are required be sure to use it late in the day when the majority of beneficial insects will have made themselves scarce.
- Plant summer bulbs: you may be enjoying some colour from spring bulbs but now is a great time to think about summer planting. Plan out your arrangments now to ensure you get the full benefit of their colours come summer.
- Plant in containers: lots of plants can successfully be grown in containers; a great option for when space is limited to perhaps just a balcony or patio area. Hardy plants like roses can be an excellent choice for providing dramatic colour without taking up lots of space.
- Relocate shrubs: if you want o re-arrange the layout of your garden a little, now is a great time to move evergreen shrubs. The shrub will not have begun taking water from the soil yet so moving it now will give it time to recover and prepare for a good growing season.
- Control weeds: use a fork or hoe to get ahead on clearing garden weeds. This can help prevent more serious outbreaks later in the year.
- Prepare seedbeds: break down large clumps of soil before raking over to create a ridge effect. Apply an organic fertiliser two weeks before sowing any seeds and your bed will be ready for growing success.
- Plant shallots and onions: a perfect grow your own project that can be used in all sorts of dishes. Onions can begin growing in march and finish off in the summer.
- Plant early potatoes: seed potatoes can be planted in trenches with an organic fertiliser to get off to the best start.
- Sow herbs: hardy herbs like chives, dill, marjoram and coriander are perfect for sowing this time fo year. Plant seeds into drills and pant out when large enough o handle.
- Plant summer seeds: you can propagate summer blooms like marigolds in the greenhouse in preparation for warmer days in summer when they can be transplanted outside.
- Clean the glass: with the warm weather returning you can give the glass a good clean to remove the marks left by winter and maximise the amount of light getting through.
- Plant summer vegetables: courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and sweetcorn are ideal for planting in the greenhouse ready for transplanting to the outside when the summer warms the garden properly.
- Prepare for hedgehogs: hedgehogs will start coming out of hibernation. Having food and shelter in your garden as well as easy access in and out can make your garden a preferred hedgehog spot.
- Feed the birds: this time of year can see a scarcity of wild food for birds who will be working hard to build nests in preparation for chicks. Give them a helping hand by putting out appropriate foods.
- Provide a home: butterflies and bees will begin to emerge. Having bug hotels and feeding stations in your garden can make your space a sanctuary for these important pollinators.
- Top up birdbaths: make sure the birds in your garden have open access to water for cleaning and drinking.
Scott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.