March – Getting the garden ready for summer - Landscape Gardening Design, Preston, Lancashire

Gardening in March in the UK is a time of preparation and early planting, as the weather starts to warm up and days begin to lengthen. Here are some tips to get your garden ready for the spring and summer months:

General Maintenance

  1. Clean Up: Clear away leaves, debris, and any dead foliage from flower beds, lawns, and ponds. This helps prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
  2. Compost: Turn your compost heap to help it decompose faster and make room for new garden waste.
  3. Repair: Fix any broken fences, gates, trellises, or garden tools. It's easier to do these repairs now than when you're in the full swing of gardening season.
  4. Soil Preparation: Start preparing your soil. Remove weeds, and work in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure to enrich it.

Planting and Sowing

  1. Early Vegetables: Sow hardy vegetables outside such as peas, carrots, parsnips, and beetroot. Use cloches or fleece to protect young seedlings if a frost is forecasted.
  2. Potatoes: Start chitting (sprouting) early and maincrop potatoes indoors in a cool, light place to prepare them for planting later in March or April.
  3. Summer Bulbs: Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as gladioli, lilies, and dahlias in pots or directly into the ground, depending on the weather.
  4. Herbs: Start sowing herb seeds in pots or trays on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse.

Lawn Care

  1. Mowing: Begin mowing the lawn if the weather is mild, but set the mower blades higher to avoid cutting the grass too short.
  2. Aeration: Aerating the lawn can help improve drainage and reduce moss and thatch build-up.
  3. Feeding: Apply a spring lawn fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.

Pruning and Tidying

  1. Prune: Cut back winter-flowering shrubs after their flowers fade. Prune summer-flowering shrubs like Hydrangea and Roses, as advised for the specific varieties.
  2. Perennials: Divide and replant perennials that have become too large or are not flowering well.

Wildlife Care

  1. Birds: Continue to feed the birds, as food can still be scarce. Provide water as well.
  2. Insects: Consider installing insect hotels or leaving certain areas of the garden a little wild to offer habitats for beneficial insects.

Pest Control

  1. Slugs and Snails: Be vigilant and start protecting young shoots with organic slug pellets or other environmentally friendly methods.

Greenhouse Tasks

  1. Ventilation: On sunny days, ventilate greenhouses to prevent overheating and to reduce the risk of pests and diseases.
  2. Sowing: Start sowing tender vegetables and annuals in a heated propagator or greenhouse.

March is a transitional month for gardening in the UK, bridging the end of winter and the start of spring. Taking the time to prepare your garden now can lead to a more vibrant and productive garden in the months to come.

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