March sometimes known as the month of many weathers because conditions can vary quickly and widely as rain, strong cold winds, warm sunshine, frost even snow are all possible.
Despite being an unpredictable month for doing some gardening, by the middle of the month with some luck, the weather will have settled and temperatures will begin to rise. Traditionally March 17th marks the start of the new gardening year and if not sooner, this is also the time at when the mowing the grass resumes. Hopefully the weather will continue to improve and as warmer conditions continue and the evenings stretch the beginning of spring will be very evident in the garden.
Early spring bulbs are now starting to fade, the new daffodils begin to bloom, general new growth begins and the grass begins to grow in earnest. March is a crucial month to catch up on any outstanding gardening tasks from last season and avoid the risk of becoming overwhelmed as control of new season’s growth advances. Key tasks this month:
- Tidy the planted borders and apply a top dressing of bark mulch, this will help to retain moisture and heat in the soil, suppress weeds and create an attractive neat and tidy look to the border. (Tip: water soil before applying top dressing)
- Faded spring bulbs should be dead headed and only cut and remove foliage after it has faded.
- Create additional summer flowering perennials by simply lifting and dividing existing clumps.
- Set lawn mower blades to highest position for first cut and gradually reduce height settings to midpoint as season progresses.
- General lawn care includes tidy edges, rake and remove thatch, apply moss killer treatment
- If required now is a good time to re-pot any container plants, larger pots, remove top 30mm layer of soil and replace with new soil/compost mix, water and feed.
- Start pruning roses and cut back to within 150-200mm of ground level, remove any old woody shoots
- A good time to plant new borders and any bare-root tree planting should be completed this month
- Check that all newly planted trees and shrubs are well secured to protect them from damage by strong March winds.