Gardening in March

1) Mulching your borders or raised beds – use old, well-rotted material from your compost heap, plus any compost manure. Remove any weeds first and tidy up any of the plants – taking off old leaves, stems etc. By adding a layer of old compost/manure now will help keep vital water in the ground around trees, shrubs and conifers that will require it in the summer months.

2) Lawn care – check your lawn for moss and put down some lawn sand or liquid moss killer. Remove dead mass after it has turned black, approx.4 days later. Rake out and prepare the ground for re-seeding. Add some fine topsoil and ‘Growmore’ fertiliser to the patches and re-seed. Water in if no sign of rain.

3) Prepare your pond for spring/summer –remove netting and any leaves that may have entered during the winter, plus any old plant foliage.Checknow that your pond pump is working well, and the filter is clean. Only clean the filter sponges with pond water in a bucket – not tap water. Put back in any pond lighting removed in the autumn. Look at removing your pond heater at the end of March/April depending on the cold-water temperature. With water warming up your fish will need some extra feeding – but not too much as this will encourage algae growth produced from fish waster. Use wheatgerm pellets until May.

4) Pruning – prune back coloured winter stems from Cornus bushes to 2”-3” (5-8cm) above ground level to encourage new growth which will give good autumn colour.

5) Sow flower seeds for hardy annuals – such as Limanthes, Cosmos and Larkspur.

6) Prepare the vegetable garden –once the soil has dried out start preparing seed beds for sowing seeds such as: peas, broad beans, parsnips, lettuces, salad onions, cabbage, turnips and beetroot. Early potatoes and onions sets, plus herbs such as: chives, chervil, dill, fennel, marjoram, coriander and parsley.