March Garden Maintenance Jobs
This is the best time of year to prune bush and shrub roses (not climbers or ramblers which should have been done in the autumn.) Remove all winter damage and don’t worry about pruning bush roses hard, it will help them produce really good growth and flowers in summer. By thinning overcrowded growth you’ll be letting in more light and air and avoid problems with pests and diseases. Cuts must be clean so use a good pair of SHARP secateurs, you might also need loppers for thicker shoots. Cut out any shoots that are crossing or rubbing against each other. Always prune to the outward facing bud. The harder you prune the more vigorous the growth will be.
It’s essential to protect young, tender shoots of Delphiniums, Hostas, Lupins and other vulnerable plants from slug damage at this time of year. These pests can do a lot of damage to newly emerging shoots before they’ve barely emerged from the soil and you might not be aware of this until the leaves begin to open up. The best organic method of protection is to put a layer of coarse grit around the base of the plant.
Please get your lawn mower serviced, if you haven’t already. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut a lawn with a blunt mower. The grass, rather than being cut cleanly, is more likely to be torn with a blunt blade, which harms the grass.
Once the grass starts to grow, start mowing regularly. For the first few cuts set the blades at the highest setting. Collect the clippings so the air and rain can penetrate the grass. Feed the lawn at the end of March with a lawn fertiliser.
Repair damage to lawn edges. Cut out the entire damaged portion of turf and turn it around so the good side now becomes the edge. Fill the hollow edge with soil and sow grass seed onto this. You can seed any other damaged areas in the middle of the lawn in exactly the same way all through the summer.