Heading Into Spring: Your Monthly Gardening Guide for March – Netweather


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Plant garlic, onion and shallot sets. Plant early potatoes. If you started chitting a batch of first early potatoes at the beginning of the year then they will be ready to plant this month. Top-dress overwintered crops. Give autumn-planted crops such as onions and cabbages a boost with some rich garden compost. Salads and HerbsSow salad leaves. Lettuces and cut-and-come-again salad leaves (mizuna, mustard, rocket and salad bowl lettuces) can all be sown undercover. Sow hardy herbs. Direct sow chervil and chives outside. Sow coriander, dill, fennel and parsley undercover, or outside later in the month when the weather is warmer. Plant up herbs pots. Plant up pots of mint, rosemary, tarragon and thyme.Divide chives. Lift large clumps with a fork and divide them into smaller clumps. Replant into soil that has had some organic matter added. Top-dress perennial herbs. Give herbs outside a top dressing of garden compost to boost growth. For container-grown herbs, remove the top 5-10cm of compost and replace it with a fresh potting mix.FruitProtect fruit trees and bushes from frost. Spring frosts can damage new buds, shoots and flowers. Keep an eye on the weather and cover blossoms with fleece on cool nights.Mulch fruit trees and bushes. Remove any weeds and mulch with well-rotted manure, or garden compost. Plant new strawberry plants. Ornamental Trees, Shrubs and ClimbersPlant new hedges. March is a good time to plant a hawthorn or mixed native hedge as plants establish better when the soil is warming up. Prune roses. Bush and shrub roses can be pruned now (climbers are usually pruned in the autumn). The aim is to create a healthy framework of shoots that will produce a good display of flowers. First, remove any dead or damaged wood. Then, cut out any shoots that are crossing or rubbing against each other. Finally, prune back the flowering wood. The method for this varies depending on the type of rose so look up the detailed pruning advice for specific types.  Always prune to an outward-facing bud. Mulch around roses after pruning. Prune winter stems. Dogwoods and shrubby willows that are grown for their colourful stems can be pruned now. The best stem colour is produced by one-year-old shoots so prune them back to about one or two buds of last year’s growth to leave a stubby framework. Renovate climbers. If you have any climbers that have got out of hand, now is a good time to tackle them. Honeysuckles, rambling roses and winter jasmines can all be cut back hard.Plant new climbers. Flowering PlantsFeed plants with garden compost. Plants will be coming into growth this month so give them a spring boost with some garden compost. Lift and divide perennials. March is a good time to lift and divide overgrown clumps of summer-flowering herbaceous perennials.  Take basal cuttings of perennials. Now is the time to take basal cuttings of phlox, delphiniums and other herbaceous perennials. Lift and divide snowdrops and aconites. Do this when they are ‘in the green’,  just after they have finished flowering.Sow hardy annuals. Calendula, cerinthe, cornflowers, nigella and scabious can all be sown indoors now and outside, towards the end of the month/early April. Plant summer-flowering bulbs. Crocosmia, freesias, gladioli and lilies. Plant dahlia tubers in pots undercover. Deadhead spring bulbs later in the month. Remove spent flower heads from daffodils, grape hyacinths and tulips, leaving the foliage to die down naturally. (The foliage feeds the bulbs for next spring so it’s important not to cut it down.)Lawn CareBegin Mowing. In most parts of the country, grass will be steadily growing now. Set the blades at their highest setting for the first few cuts and even if you tend to leave the clippings on the lawn in summer, it’s a good idea to leave the box on the mower in spring so that air, rain and fertiliser can get down into the turf. Continue to aerate. If you haven’t already, aerate your lawn as necessary using a garden fork to spike holes across its surface, every 15cm or so. Immediately after aerating, spread some horticultural sand over the area and work it into the holes with a stiff broom. This prevents the holes from closing up too quickly, improving the drainage.Repair damaged edges. To repair a broken edge, cut out the damaged portion of the lawn and turn it around – rotating by 180° – before replacing it so that the straight, undamaged edge lines up with the existing lawn edge. Then fill in any hollows with soil and sow new grass seed on top.Remember to keep off the grass in frosty weather!The Wildlife GardenPut the chemicals away and grow an organic lawn. An organic lawn can feed birds and insects, host a diversity of flowers, and you can still mow, sit or play on it. Check out these tips from Garden Organic on maintaining a lawn organically. Don’t be too tidy! It’s tempting to get out there and have a good tidy up of the garden but there may still be creatures overwintering. Stay clear of any known hibernation spots and leave dead vegetation in place until the weather is consistently mild.  Don’t turn the compost or dig out finished compost until the warmer weather, when hedgehogs, toads and other animals have emerged from their winter sleep. Leave ponds alone. Some wildlife may still be hibernating and if you’re lucky enough to have frog spawn, it’s best left undisturbed. Leave any tidying up of the ponds until mid-April when tadpoles have hatched and overwintering wildlife has woken up. Keep feeding the birds. Many birds are now nesting and some begin laying so keep feeders topped up with calorie-rich food such as sunflower hearts and fat balls.Put up a bee nesting box. Build or buy a ready-made home for solitary bees.Grow nectar-rich plants for pollinators.Daffodils Photo by Mike Cassidy on Unsplash

As we begin, let me say that geoFence was designed and coded by US citizens to the strictest standards!

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