A Hint of Spring...
March Gardening Jobs
As I write this blog post the rain is pelting down on my office window. I have a little garden studio with floor to ceiling windows that look out onto my garden. When I am sat at my desk I feel like I am part of the garden and as the weather moves through it absorbs me. I almost become a part of it (and aren't we all really a part of nature – no matter how much concrete we lay and brick walls we build).
When I am in my garden studio I stare out of the window into my own garden and I plan out my weekly gardening tasks (when really I should be getting on with client designs, planting plans or drawings). I pinpoint the shrubs that need pruning and the perennials that need cutting back. I think about the seeds that will soon need sowing and about the seeds I have already sown that have grown into tiny little seedlings that now need transplanting. I can't imagine doing any of these jobs with the rain pelting on my window as it is. Although I know that, with all the rain we have had over the last few months, at some point I will need to pull on my waterproofs and wellies and head out into the elements. Away from the warmth of my little garden studio.
March feels closer to Spring. March could almost be the start of Spring, although sometimes in March the grip of winter still holds on tightly. A gardener's life becomes a little busier in March. Our sights turn to new growth, to the emergence of buds on trees and new seedlings which sprout up in our borders – some expected, some not, some wanted, some not. In March a gardener will get out a little bit more and start seed sowings for vegetable and cutting gardens in earnest.
Of all the tasks that can be undertaken in March, I've listed my top 10 below. If you are new to gardening then my advice to you is: do what you can. Nature is patient and forgiving and she will continue to function whether or not we stick our hand in (and in fact she often functions better without our involvement). A task not done today can always be done tomorrow or the next day and sometimes it is better to let the wild edges creep in. You never know what surprises you may find:
Gardening Tasks for March
Cut back last years perennials (if any have been left standing over winter) and lift and divide any congested clumps of perennials.
Remove any weeds now, as they first appear. It is always easier to remove weeds when they first emerge. Take care not to pull out any plants that you want in your garden. Remember that some of last years annuals or perennials may have self-seeded.
Mow the lawn if the day is dry and the weather is feeling warm and if there is no frost is on the horizon.
Mulch your borders. Mulching is an excellent way of suppressing weeds, keeping moisture in and adding nutrients to your soil.
Deadhead any daffodils that are past their best.
Plant summer flowering bulbs such as Gladiolus, Lily, Dahlias and Crocosmia.
Cut back Cornus and Salix shrubs if you are growing them for their brightly coloured winter stems. March is also a good time to prune bush and climbing roses.
Plant out any new shrubs and perennials. When choosing new plants for your garden be sure to select plants that will suit the situation you are planting in and have a think about their value for wildlife. How will they fit in with your existing plants and what other uses do they have?
Help birds with their nest-building by tying up bundles of small twigs, dried moss and stringy plant growth near your bird feeders.
Get your vegetable garden off to a good start, sow aubergine, chilli and tomato seeds under glass (if you haven't already). Broad beans, beetroot, peas, swiss chard and some salad crops can all be sown outdoors (unless we have an unusual cold snap). For vegetable growing tips and advice have a look at Charles Dowding's website or Huw Richard's You Tube channel.
If you need help to sort out your garden for summer, why not get in touch with me at Wild Edge Garden Design.
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