After winter the garden may be in need of some help in March, hopefully though as we move through the month we may see the start of Spring and warmer weather. If your plants are looking a little limp it may be that the rain has washed away the nutrients they need and so using a liquid fertiliser can help restore the vigour into your garden. If your garden is waterlogged take care not to walk on it as this can cause compacting of the ground, wait for it to dry out before attempting to improve the soil. Also consider moving pots that contain plants that prefer dryer climates, such as Lavendar and Rosemary, to sheltered spots such as against a wall.
Now is a good time to prepare your lawn for summer enjoyment. Start with giving the grass a good raking, this will remove any winter debris such as leaves or twigs and open the top layer of soil up to the air.
Afterwards you may want to consider aerating your lawn, this improves drainage and helps nutrients and water reach the roots of the grass. You can buy specialist equipment for this (a good idea for a large lawn) but you can also use a humble garden fork too. Push the tines in as deep as they’ll go, wiggle the handle a bit and pull out being careful not to lift too much of the garden up. Work backwards in lines to avoid walking on and undoing areas already worked on then stay off the grass for a few days. If you’ve had problems with standing water on the grass consider filling the holes with a suitable sand to help improve the drainage even more.
Consider using a spring weed and feed to promote healthy grass, or add grass seed to bare or dying patches. Another top tip for a healthy lawn is to water deep rather than shallow and often, this encourages the roots to dig deep into the soil rather than stay shallow on the surface of the soil.
Spring bulbs should be appearing in your garden by now, use a good granular fertiliser during their active growing phases to ensure you get the most from your plants.
Hoe any bare patches of soil to help prevent weeds from forming. Look to improve the soil by first digging through it with a spade or fork to break any compacted soil, and then use a fork to mix in a layer of about 5cm of compost or manure, finally firm it back down with your feet. If you have a large area consider splitting the job over several days as lots of digging can be taxing on the muscles
Other jobs in the garden
- Prune Summer Flowering Clematis, cutting above a low pair of green buds
- Lift and divide perennials
- Spread a layer of manure or compost around roses and shrubs
- Look out for slugs and snails
- Check the condition of garden machinery
- Start to mow the lawn regularly, use a high setting to promote healthier greener grass
- Start to sow vegetable seeds outside including carrots, radishes and lettuces.
- Plant out onions from sets.
- Plant sprouted first early potatoes
- For an early crop of strawberries, cover established plants now with cloches and protect the plants from slugs
- Sow hardy annual flower seeds outside such as calendulas, cornflowers, love-in-a-mist and californian poppies.
- Plant Gladioli corms and Lily bulbs around the garden borders.
- Check/set up water butts.