For many gardeners, March is their favourite month. As signs of spring start to creep in, there's the opportunity to get back out into the garden, with the lighter evenings and warmer temperatures affording us a little more time in the great outdoors.
That said, gardening in March is very much led by the weather, which at this time of year can be unpredictable at best. So, while there's plenty to be done in the garden, choose smaller tasks to begin with, which take less time - that way if snow and storms do interfere (not unheard of in March!) you'll still be able to make some progress in the garden.
There are many benefits to growing plants in containers. Not only do they help to brighten up dull corners and empty spots in the garden, they're also relatively easy to care for, once you've got everything in place.
Now is the ideal time to plant up containers, as it gives time for the roots to become established. The essential things plants in containers need are plenty of water, and a good quality compost to ensure the plant gets the ideal balance of air and water. Top dressing your containers with a compost that provides good drainage and keeps the roots from being too saturated is ideal.
Creating your own compost is easy to do, and there’s no better time to start than at the beginning of spring, so that you have the whole season ahead of you to collect that precious waste and start reaping the benefits. To get started, you need the right balance of nitrogen rich materials such as grass clippings and tree foliage, and carbon materials like wood cuttings and cardboard. Then, you’ll need somewhere to store it, so consider making your own compost bin to keep your matter tidy.
Lawn and order
It might be a while since you showed your lawn any love, but as spring arrives, it’s time to turn your attention to your turf. The beginning of spring is the ideal time to give your lawn a boost - put in the work now and it’ll thank you later.
One way you can boost your lawn is by aerating it, which helps to avoid waterlogging. Use a garden fork to spike the ground, and aim to leave around 15cm gaps between the incisions. It’s also worth using a good fertiliser on your grass - this will provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs throughout the season.
If we're afforded a mild March, then you can make a start on planting out some summer bulbs. Lilies and Dahlias are both good options and will bring plenty of colour to your garden come summertime.
Dahlias are not frost hardy, so you'll want to plant these about 6 weeks before the last frost - they take about this long to make an appearance, by which time hopefully weather conditions will be milder and the dahlias can thrive.
Lilies can be planted out in pots and will grow well in sheltered areas, or you could place them in the greenhouse until they're established.
No, it's not the most exciting of tasks, but the sooner you start weeding your borders, the less you'll have to do later down the line. Set aside five or ten minutes a week and get out in the garden to do a quick weed removal session. How you get rid of them is up to you - some people prefer to use a hoe or trowel, others prefer to pull them out by hand. Once you've tackled the worst of the weeds, mulch your borders with compost to keep them at bay.