March On

March 7, 2012

feb2.jpgMarch heralds the first month of spring and with this month come the longer hours of daylight to get our gardens blooming. However, the weather can still be unpredictable with a mixture of some milder sunny days, bitter cold March winds and even some hard frosts.

If you’re like me, then you’ll be keen to get out there into the garden at the first opportunity on a mild sunny day. Do remember that if you’re not used to gardening, or if you’ve been quite sedentary over the last few months, then do go easy on yourself before throwing yourself into any strenuous gardening jobs that need doing. It might also be a good idea to have some bubble bath soak ready for aching muscles.

There are many jobs that can now be done this month and it’s already the start of the weeding season. So if this is one chore that you would like to cut down on for the rest of the year, then now would be a good time to mulch your borders with a good thick layer of organic matter. Also by applying mulch early spring while the soil is still moist, you’ll help prevent moisture evaporating from the soil.

March is also the time to prune your roses; don’t be shy about giving them a hard prune, as they will reward you with good strong fresh growth and flowers. Prune out any dead or diseased branches and any branches that are crossing or rubbing together. Once you’re done that, stand back and have a good look at the overall form and then if necessary, prune to give it a good shape. Remember to prune on an angle and to an outward facing bud. feb1.jpg

If you have an evergreen shrub that may have now out-grown its place or you would prefer it in another part of the garden; well now is the time to move it and replant it. March is also a good time to lift and divide any overgrown
perennials. Thin them out and replant them elsewhere in your garden or swap plants with fellow gardeners.

Last month I mentioned about making a cloche to cover your soil to allow it to warm up, and if you did this then you can start planting out some young vegetable plants or salad crops. Also around now you could sow your hardy annuals, but do remember to check the seed packet for full instructions. If the weather does warm up this month then it might also be a good idea to give your lawnmower a once over ready for the new season of grass cutting.

So, it’s time to dust off those winter cobwebs, limber up and get ready for the new gardening season. Gardening doesn’t have to be a chore; it’s a great way of keeping fit, toning the body and burning off some of those extra inches that have may crept on over the winter months.



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