With spring on the horizon and frequent sunny days increasing, theirs plenty of tasks to complete in the garden during March, from pruning to giving the lawn its first cut and removing spring bulb flowerheads when they have finished flowering.
Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 45cm. for a good show in the summer. Prune down to 60-80cm for denser but weaker overall growth.
Apply a moss killer to the lawn and lightly rake over to remove debris as the moss dies off. Cut the lawn on a dry day when conditions allow, the almost certainly second half of March, with the mower blades set high. Trim the lawn edges with a half-moon or a spade.
Cut back to 30-40cm., willows and dogwoods which are being grown as a bush for their bright spring and summer growth. Use some of the prunings as hardwood cuttings and root them in pots or borders.
Don’t plant out tender plants yet, the wind can be extremely cold, and temperatures can get low enough to cause a significant depth of snow with 5-8cm of frozen soil. On average, the Yorkshire region can expect 90 to 100 hours of sunshine in the month, and significant winds in coastal areas.
In view of the apparent increase in the number of dry spells in recent years, it could well be to advantage to provide a 5cm. a mulch of compost or leaf mould to plants such as hydrangeas and newly planted trees and shrubs which may suffer from a lack of moisture.
By the middle of the month, the water pumps for deep ponds could go back into the water, and begin to feed any fish you may have in the pond.
Re-seed bare patches in the lawn. It is a good time to propagate shrubs by layering low-growing branches of choice shrubs to produce a significant young plant. A very satisfying exercise!
Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting conditions are good.
After late heavy snowfalls, knock snow off the conifers before the branches get bent over and broken. Most plants are better under snow in a hard frost as they are well insulated.
When daffodils have faded, remove the flowerheads, but not the flower stalk, in order to prevent the plant from wasting energy on bringing seed heads to maturity.
Propagate heathers by layering or heel cuttings, and remove perennial weeds before planting at 30-40cm. Spacing, incorporating peat and bone meal for acid-loving varieties.
Hard prune shrubby Eucalyptus to 15cm. This helps to retain the good blue foliage colour and keep the shrub compact.
In bad weather, finalise plans for garden improvements and order plants and sundries to enable you to start work as soon as possible.
Hard prune climbers down to 30 cm. that have got out of hand include rambling roses, ivies, honeysuckle and jasmine.
Finish pruning perennials which have not yet been cut back, don’t remove new green shoots. There is still time to lift and divide large herbaceous clumps. Replant or give away outer sections of the clump and destroy the older centre of the plant.
Kill weeds on paths and drives with an approved weedkiller, and keep them clean with a total weedkiller. Remove moss from paths and driveways with an approved moss killer.
Lift overcrowded snowdrop clumps out of the ground with a fork when the leaf tips are turning yellow, and replants immediately in a new site at the same depth.
Posted 2nd Mar 11:09am