March is a real DIY month for the garden. With slightly longer days and warmer temperatures, there’s no excuse to put off those fiddly gardening jobs any longer.
Plants and Flowers
- Finish pruning your roses to encourage strong and healthy growth. To find out how to prune roses, including climbing roses, take a look at our ‘How to grow roses’ article.
- Prune Hydrangeas now, cutting back to just above a healthy pair of buds. On established Hydrangea plants you can cut one or two of the oldest stems to the base to encourage new and floriferous growth.
- Think about which bedding plants you would like for your hanging basket and container displays this year. Order plug plants online now ready for planting in late spring.
- Now is the ideal time to lift, divide and plant herbaceous perennials. Take a look at our handy ‘How to grow perennial plants‘ guide for more information.
Fruit and Veg
- Now is your last chance to cut back autumn-fruiting raspberry canes to the ground to encourage new fruiting canes for this year. Make sure you feed them with a general purpose fertiliser to help boost new growth.
- Finish chitting your seed potatoes and start to plant out any which are ready. You can grow your potatoes either in potato grow bags or in the ground. For more help with growing potatoes read our ‘How to grow potatoes article’.
- Cover your strawberry plants with a cloche if you’d like to encourage earlier fruiting.
- Plant any fruit trees you have received and mulch around the base of them with well-rotted manure or compost to help retain moisture throughout the summer. For advice on how to plant a tree take a look at this article.
- Dig a 5cm layer of organic matter such as well-rotted manure or compost into your soil for the best performance from your plants this year. You can also work in a general purpose fertiliser now to feed your plants for this season.
- Make sure you set your lawn mower blades higher than usual for your first mow of the season! New turf can also be laid now provided the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged. Try using lawn edging to define the lawn area and make maintenance easier.
- Mulch all your plants including trees, shrubs, perennials, rhubarb and asparagus with well-rotted manure or compost. This helps the soil to retain moisture in dry weather and improves soil fertility.
- Keep an eye out for weeds and remove them whilst young – weed growth will accelerate now as the weather warms up. To effectively kill more difficult weeds such as ground elder and bindweed wait until mid-summer before spraying with a glyphosate-based weed killer. The leaf surface area will have increased by the summer and will make the weed killer more effective.
- Top-dress all your permanent container displays by clearing the top 2.5cm (1 inch) of compost and replacing with fresh. You can also mix in a slow-release fertiliser whilst you are doing this.
- Before your greenhouse becomes too full give it a scrub to clean the glass and kill over-wintered pests and diseases. Improve the soil in your polytunnel or greenhouse borders by working in organic matter and a slow-release fertiliser for the growing season ahead.
Do you have any further jobs you like to complete in March? Let us know in the comments below, or share them with us over on our Facebook page.