Welcome to March, when the garden really starts bursting into life. Your plants are beginning to grow, so it’s time to get outside and prepare the garden for the warmer weather ahead. Spring bulbs such as nodding daffodils, carpets of crocuses and an increase in birdsong herald the start of the new season.
We’ve put together a list of March gardening jobs worth focusing on in the next few weeks.
March is the time to buy plants and bedding for your hanging baskets, containers and borders so get yourself prepared by ordering new containers and planters or cleaning out your existing pots. Plants such as nemesia, begonias, petunias, geraniums, osteospermums, fuchsias and salvias are ideal thrillers and spillers for your container garden and will provide a summer of dazzling colour.
This is also the ideal time to start planting summer bulbs now to add successional colour to your garden. If you are looking for a flowering plant that creates both height, interest and drama in your garden, plant tall scented bulbs such as lilies and gladioli whilst dahlia tubers will add a bright pop of colour in containers.
If you are thinking of seed sowing, half hardy annuals such as aster, cosmos, celosia, petunia and salvia can be sown into soil if it's frost free, if not under cover. Young plants can be transferred straight into a sunny border or pots outside.
March is the time to cut back perennial plants before the new growth gets too advanced. Clematis can be cut back now to give you beautiful colour later in the season. March is also the last month and final chance to prune any climbing and shrub roses. Cornus plants with their bright coloured can be cut back now which will allow it to replenish itself over the coming season.
It’s the best time to lift and divide snowdrops is while they are still green, so once the flowering period has finished, lift overgrown or congested clumps and plant them in areas of the garden that look a little empty for next year.
Grow your own
Your wooden raised bed vegetable patch will start in earnest this month.
It’s time to plant onion sets and shallots in soil that has warmed up. If you have been chitting early potatoes, they should be ready for planting and can go into prepared soils in late March.
It is also a good time to plant bare root fruit trees and bushes if the soil is not too waterlogged or frozen. As the weather warms, you can now sow seeds such as broad beans, Brussel sprouts, peas, kale, spinach, radishes and brassicas under cover.
March is also an opportunity to germinate herbs, such as basil, dill, parsley, chives and coriander for the ultimate kitchen garden. Herb planters are great for small seedlings and plugs when your seeds are ready to pot on.
You might have noticed that your grass is waking up from being dormant over winter. Once your lawn has had a few weeks of new growth you can give it its first mow of the year, if the weather isn't wet or frosty. We recommend you ensure your mower blades are at their highest setting before cutting so that you don't cut the grass too short or scalp the lawn as it needs time to recover. Once this has been done, a spring lawn fertiliser and feed towards the end of the month will revive your grass for the season ahead.
March is a great month to sharpen garden tools. Regularly cleaning and oiling your garden tools will prevent rust, keep them sharper, and allow the handles to stay strong for the season ahead.
With family gatherings looking like returning this summer, your garden furniture will be the focal point over the next few months. To ensure it is looking its best, use this month to wash down your furniture by removing all mould and give wooden furniture a coat of water-based stain. We've written a full Gardenesque garden furniture care guide if you wanted to find some more helpful tips on caring for your garden furniture.
With al-fresco dining set to be very popular this summer, check that your barbecue is clean and in good condition, or treat yourself to a new one while also stocking up on gas or charcoal.
Nothing beats the spring awakening to get you in the mood for gardening, so if you follow our March tips, you can guarantee ultimate enjoyment in your garden this year.
For more advice on how to prepare your garden:
- Simple Landscape Ideas With Big Impact