The saying for March, ‘in like a lamb, out like a lion’, wasn’t entirely accurate as we had some gloriously, warm weather at the end of the month, but don’t be fooled, there are cold days and frosts still to come. Nothing stops the steady progress of weeds, so they are top of the list.
- Hoe, dig or hand-weed the weeds, depending on the situation, being careful not to damage other plant roots.
- Having pruned the roses last month, tie in ramblers and climbers and give them all a good feed with a general purpose or specialist fertiliser – mulch well afterwards but keep it clear of the stems.
- Penstemons. Don’t rush to prune, as last year’s leaves are protecting them from late frosts, but prune hard back leaving a couple of inches of stems, by the end of the month/beginning of May. You should see plenty of new foliage appearing at the base of the plant by then.
- Summer pots and containers. Again, buying bedding plants too soon means they’re likely to succumb to frost and they won’t have been hardened off, better to leave until May.
- Continue to cut lawns regularly on a high cut, but reduce the height towards the end of the month.
- Sow or turf new lawns, keep regularly watered especially around the edges of any turf, as these dry out quickly. Repair bare patches.
- Figs can be tidied up, remove any crossing or damaged branches, together with any suckers appearing at the base. Long, bare branches can be reduced to about 5cms (2”), to promote new growth.
- Be aware of hedgehogs. They are waking up now, but could still be hidden in compost heaps, piles of old leaves or in the middle of intended bonfires! If you see one during the day, it’s quite likely that it is unwell. Contact Margaret Green Animal Rescue for help and advice.
9. Keep feeding the birds.