March is definitely not a month to be slacking off when it comes to garden work. This is the time marking the start of the busiest season for gardeners all around the country and you need to definitely stay on top of your chores, which aren’t always easy to handle. March is a month of contrasts, with the weather playing tricks – first it is nice, then it goes bad. Without some planning and careful consideration of the tasks in the garden in March, you will fall behind. Here is what you need to take care to ensure it doesn’t happen.
Now is the time to conclude pruning your wisteria, any later-flowering shrubs like Russian sage and buddleia. If you are going for summer-flowering clematis, now is the time to prune it. These plants greatly raise their sap levels, so it is important to prune them before it is too late.
If you have any evergreens in your garden, you can delay pruning till April. These plants need their foliage to kickstart their growth. To promote the new wood for the year, remove a third of the stem length of winter-flowering shrubs.
Robbers and crops
Potatoes need some time to chit, so order the seeds now. Let them stay in a bright but cool room. You can plant them as early as late March, but you need to cover them with fleece to keep early shoots safe from frosts. Shallots and onions require plenty of sun, so pick their spot carefully.
You need to plant them towards the end of the month. Consider planting them in rows so that you don’t need to feel overwhelmed when weeding them. In order to protect them from birds, insert in the soil so that their necks are just below the soil level.
Clear out the remaining perennials from the previous year’s planting and do some spring cleaning. Now is the best time to deal with weeds. Add some mulch for added protection, but keep in mind it doesn’t fully solve the problem. You will still have to keep an eye on ground elder, creeping buttercup, nettle and couch.
Lawn is in need of attention
Set your mower on the highest possible setting and pick a nice dry day to do some mowing. This is a much-needed chore, as it will remove the wild look of the place. Besides, the smell of fresh cut grass is a clear sign that spring has come and with it plenty of your favourite gardening activities.
You may be tempted to lay turf now, but gardening experts agree that it is best to hold off till April. What you can do is prepare the ground for the lawn seeds.
Be on the lookout for slugs
Slugs are very active this time of the year. New plants suffer the most, since they are quite susceptible. You should use some pellets for protection whenever necessary, but aim to go for the organic variety. There are other slug control measures you can implement, like growing your hostas in pots, or picking a blue-leaved variety, which is less susceptible to such pests.
See to your Dahlia
If you have some overwintered dahlias, you need to prepare the ground you will plant them in If you think the tubers are fairly tired, you should consider a glasshouse/frame so that they can propagate from their initial growth. Now is the time to re-pot any fuchsias and pelargoniums that overwintered in your home. Increase the watering to boost shoots growth.
As you can see, there are plenty of chores to address in the garden in March. It is up to you to stay on top of them and ensure your gardening efforts are off to a great spring start.