Mad as a March hare
The old English term, traceable back to the sixteenth century, is in many ways applicable to the month itself. There’s so much you can do in the March garden you can go mad with sowing and planting, weeding and pruning, whilst nature excels itself with new spring shoots and demands on your time with lifting, dividing and re-planting.
Digging in compost or well-rotted manure will give your border plants a good, quick start, as will adding fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure. Watch out for slugs attacking new shoots – nematodes will organically fight your corner for you - and deal with weeds now before they start taking over.
Give fruit trees, canes and bushes a feed. Large flowering clematis, roses and buddleias will all benefit from pruning and if you have a heated greenhouse you can be sowing annuals for May planting. Containers will reward you if you give them a top dressing of fresh compost, and plant them, as well as beds and borders, with summer flowering bulbs such as Lilies and Ranunculus. There’s more veg to be sown: peas, beans, carrots, parsnips, onion sets and seed potatoes.
- Plant herbaceous perennials
- Lift and divide perennials to gain new plants
- Position supports now so they will be concealed by plant growth
- Sow flower seeds for planting out in June
- Give the lawn a mow if it’s dry and it needs it
- Plant bare root roses and feed roses
- Lay turf and repair bare patches in lawns
- Plant out daffodils and hyacinths that flowered indoors
- Trim back hedges before birds start nesting
- Succession plant gladioli and montbretias in late March onwards for a long display
- Cut back Cornus (dogwoods), Salix (willow) and winter Jasmine
- Start feeding pond fish