March is one of the busiest months in the garden calendar, as warmer weather brings the garden alive and signals the arrival of spring. There is still time to plant climbers, trees and shrubs, and new herbaceous perennial plants can be added to the borders.
Bird lovers can add nesting boxes to the north sides of trees before nesting season starts in earnest.
Find time to compete the digging over of beds and borders.
Provide plenty of ventilation for plants in greenhouses, cloches and cold frames, as temperatures inside can rise very quickly on warm, sunny days.
Although some days can be warm, nights can still be frosty, and tender shoots are very susceptible, so carry on providing protection where needed.
Also be prepared for the inevitable invasion of slugs, snails and other pests, so take plenty of precautions now to provide protection for young vulnerable seedling and new lush growth. The use of slug pellets, although effective, can be a very serious danger to wildlife and household pets. There are plenty of organic alternatives, such as surrounding plants with a layer coffee grounds, crushed egg shell or fine grit or using copper tapes and barriers. Another very effective natural method is the use of slug nematodes. However, the very best method is to encourage natural predators into the garden such as birds, frogs, toads, newts and hedgehogs.
Begin taking cuttings from fuchsias, dahlias and geraniums (pelargoniums). For details see our Propagating Cuttings page.
Perennial invasive weeds like Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria) and Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) can be tackled as soon as the new shoots start to appear. These weeds are difficult to spot once they have died back overwinter, but as soon as they start to sprout in spring it is easy to see where they are. In flower beds and borders they can be tackled by digging up your exiting herbaceous plants (which should still be mostly dormant now), then digging down and removing the roots of these weeds, which are long thin and creamy-white. Make sure you remove every trace of the weed root, also checking in amongst the roots of your cultivated plants. Just a tiny fragment of root left behind can regrow. Replant your beds and keep an eye out for any re-emerging weed shoots, quickly hoeing these off to weaken them.
If these weeds are coming-in under the fence from a neighbours garden, consider burying a weed barrier membrane along the fence line to block the roots.
Note: Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) can be very deep-rooted, so this method of eradication may not be successful for this type of weed and can even make it worse.
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