March gardening jobs that ‘must’ be completed – what needs pruning now
Homebase advises on garden jobs to do in March
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As the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, March is the perfect time to start thinking about gardening. Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner, there are a variety of tasks that can be done in March to prepare the garden for the spring and summer months. From mowing the lawn to pruning plants, there are a variety of gardening jobs that “must” be completed in March, according to William Mitchell of Sutton Manor Nursery, to get it ready for the spring and to prolong the shoots from winter.
He said: “March means that the winter season is finally drawing to a close. While this is a very welcomed change, it also means that there are a huge amount of gardening jobs that you must complete in March to ensure that your garden is ready for the spring season to start.”
1. Start mowing the lawn
Gardeners can finally break their mowers out of the garage and tend to their lawns as the mowing season returns. William said: “With spring finally, upon us, there will undoubtedly be more movement in your lawn and therefore require a mow.
“Keeping on top of your lawn and getting into a routine at the start of the spring season will help to work wonders as the summer comes around. During spring, the British weather can still be unpredictable and wet. Therefore it is incredibly important to only mow your lawn during dryer spells, to avoid any damage to your mower.”
When mowing the lawn, there are a few things that gardeners need to take into account. The expert said: “It is beneficial to your lawn to leave it slightly longer to avoid cutting the grass leaf. Grass leaf is incredibly important as it is the food that the grass needs to continue to look healthy. Leaving your grass slightly longer will leave more food for the grass and ensure it stays thick and healthy.”
2. Plants summer flowering bulbs
Planting summer bulbs early enough ensures that they are “at peak bloom” come July and August. According to William, early march is “the perfect time” to plant them and allow them to benefit from wet and sunny spring conditions.
Bulbs can be planted in either borders or pots, and are super easy to plant. There are a huge amount of flowering bulbs that can transform the aesthetic of a garden by adding stunning and vibrant colours. The most popular flowering bulbs to plant are lilies, daffodils, cyclamen, tulips.
To plant these beautiful flowering bulbs, the gardening pro advised digging a hole deep and wide enough for the bulbs. William said: “You should plant them at around two times their depth if possible. You should also make sure that bulbs are planted with the growing tip pointed up and then simply cover them up with soil.”
3. Remove weeds
While weeds are typically associated with summer, annoyingly they can be a problem all year round. The expert claimed that they are undoubtedly “the worst nuisance in all gardens”, not only can they taint the aesthetic of the garden but they can also “cause a considerable amount of damage that can affect your whole garden”.
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He said: “There are many ways that you can eradicate these nuisance weeds from your garden. The most simple way that you can get rid of weeds from your garden is by pulling them out by using just your hands, which is extremely effective. You can also use different weed pullers and weed killers to eradicate any unwanted weeds.”
4. Finish pruning roses
William claimed that pruning plants is “incredibly important all year round” and roses are one of “the most important plants” to consistently prune. He said: “There is truly no better time to prune your roses than late winter/early spring.”
Pruning is the act of cutting back any dead, overgrown, or faded branches, stems or leaves. This is to encourage new growth so that gardeners have a “fuller rose bush” come summer.
The expert instructed: “To prune roses you should cut approximately half an inch above an outward-facing bud-eye. This is because new stems grow in the direction of the bud, so encouraging outward-facing growth will help to avoid any complications with the growth such as overgrowth.”
5. Prune wind damaged branches
As previously explained, pruning all overgrown and damaged branches is “incredibly important” for the growth of other plants. Over the harsh winter months, it is incredibly common to see a lot of damage due to harsh weather conditions such as heavy winds.
To prune these damaged branches, simply undercut the damaged branch a few inches away from the trunk. This will help to prevent any bark from tearing. Make sure to always make cuts at a downward angle.
6. Create a compost heap
Creating a compost bin in the garden can be extremely effective and convenient. It can also help to make a garden much more economical and self-sustainable. They are the perfect place to recycle all kitchen and garden waste while reusing it to help the growth of the garden.
William explained that compost can be used in so many different ways throughout the garden. He said: “It can be used to improve the overall structure of the soil, and can therefore improve drainage.
“This means that the soil will not get too damp, causing the roots to suffocate. In addition to this, compost can also be used as a very effective mulch which can help with water loss and also as a fertiliser.”
7. Prepare for late winter frost
In March, morning frosts are still very likely. This is why it is important to cover plants overnight, according to the expert, especially young and vulnerable ones to avoid being damaged by these surprise last winter frosts.
He warned: “Frosts can be extremely dangerous to vulnerable and young plants and can often catch you off guard, especially as spring arrives and people think that frosts are behind us. Keeping a large sheet of fleece handy to cover these plants overnight will be sure to greatly benefit them when morning frosts arise.
“The danger that frosts pose to your plants is that the frosts can freeze the water inside the plant. The water then expands once frozen, which can cause the cell walls to break and therefore mean that it can no longer carry the plant’s sap. This can ultimately result in the death of the plant.”
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