A busy month, March heralds the end of armchair gardening and the hard work is about to begin!
Jobs to be done:
March is a time to get the lawn up to scratch. Using a birch broom sweep the lawn ensuring it is free from leaves and winter debris. The lawn can then be raked; a wire spring-back lawn rake is the best for this as it will remove matted grass and weeds ready for cutting.
You will probably need to make a couple of cuts and the blades should be set at 1 - 1 ½ inches high to make sure the lawn isn't scalped.
Preparing for a new lawn should be done during March so that the turf can be laid or seed sown in April. To prepare the area all rubbish, scrub, deep-rooted weeds and tree roots should be removed. Shallow-rooted roots and existing rough grass can be dug-in. If the soil is not waterlogged and too compact, a good digging over down to about 6 or 8 inches will be fine.
A good grade of granulated peat should be forked in, no matter how good the existing soil is. Lime-free gritty sand should be used to improve drainage if the existing soil is too wet. Leave this area for about 2 to 3 weeks and near the end of March remove any weeds that are growing. After weeding and only if the soil is reasonably dry, mix in a general fertilizer and fork over the top soil. After this flatten ground as best as possible with your feet. Using a wide toothed rake, rake over area, flatten again using feet and rake over once more. This area should now be left until the new lawn is laid.
Gladioli corms and hardy oxalis species can now be planted, as can hardy perennials into a new border. In existing borders plants that need it should be lifted and divided. Primulas, pansies and violas can also be planted.
Caring for your garden can produce wonderful results and a great sense of achievement. These seasonal tips should help save time and prevent your hard work going to waste!
- Prepare ground if new lawn is required. Existing lawns should be swept, lightly rolled, raked and finally mowed.
- Deciduous and evergeen hedges can be planted. Ensure that in exposed areas these are protected from the elements.
- Beware of bud eating birds particularly if you have japonica.
- Lightly hoe shrub and flower borders.
- Rose bush planting and pruning should be completed.