March is the time when the keen gardeners amongst us are itching to get back outside. Spring is finally here and colour is returning to our hedgerows and gardens. As the days lengthen, the increase in light and warmth encourages germination and now is peak time for sowing seeds.
If your garden is anything like mine, the lawn hasn’t stopped growing over the winter months and is looking a bit of a tousled mess. The ground beneath is however probably still waterlogged but it’s time to take the gamble and mow it. Time your cut for when there has been at least a little dry weather, as the longer the grass gets the harder it is for the lawn to dry out.
Set the mower to the highest setting and give it a tidy up, grass is extremely resilient and any damage will soon grow back as the growing season gets under way. Try not to walk back and forwards too much as this will compact the soil although you can aerate your lawn with an aerator or a garden fork in a few weeks and solve any problems created.
If you haven’t done so already then prepare your flower beds so that you are ready to get sowing at the end of the month if we don’t have a cold snap. Finish digging, evict any new season weeds, and finalise your plans. Remember, monthly gardening guides are just that, guides, so check the forecast and cover any thing vulnerable if frost or snow is forecast. If conditions are bad, wait until they improve.
Now is a great time to start using last years compost or leaf mulch around the bases of shrubs, roses and fruit trees and at the end of the month you can start to use fertiliser to get things growing again.
If you are lucky enough to have fruit trees producing blossom and if they are small enough then a fleece cover on a frosty night will protect them and increase yield later in the year. It is important not to cover permanently as pollination will not be able to take place.
Avoid pruning hedges or trees that may have nesting birds in them as you may prevent the parents from brooding eggs or feeding young birds. Now is a great time to plan how you could make your garden more nature friendly this year, why not plan a mini pond, plant bee-friendly flowers and grow your own organic veg.