I just LOVE Spring! Gardens start to come alive with colour. Spring bulbs such as Crocus, Daffodils and Hyacinths are in flower, which begin to help the first pollinating insects of the year.
March is a good time to give your lawn its first cut of the year, but just give it a light trim, not cutting it down to summer length. This will help your lawn to be healthier and more drought resistant in summer, as it will encourage strong root growth. It would be best to wait for a dry period before mowing.
The sun begins to warm the soil so we can move closer to the surface. This is good news for you, as we begin to loosen the soil which increases the amount of air and water that gets in. However, this also means that slugs begin to warm up too.
The emerging shoots of Hosta’s and Lupin’s are the perfect grub for those pesky slugs, so start protecting your plants. There are a few ways in which you can do this, from beer traps, picking them off, slug pellets (make sure you choose the wildlife friendly ones) and barrier methods like copper rings. Or you can make some small changes to your garden from raised beds to encouraging in wildlife. Thrushes and Frogs are a gardener’s best friend when it comes to getting rid of slugs and snails, place bird feeders around your garden or try and incorporate a small pond.
Depending on the temperature and frost forecasts, you can begin to plant your summer bulbs like Dahlia’s, Lilies, Begonia’s and Gladioli. But make sure if there are any signs of frost, you protect them with cloches or fleece. You can similarly begin to replant bulbs from indoors, once their displays are over, into borders with a good watering and feed.
Also, if you are a lover of Snowdrops, March is the time to plant them for next year’s display. They are best planted as small plants and not as blubs, as they are hard to establish. Remember, they are a woodland plant, which means they do not like too much sun, so plant them in a shaded area or under a shrub.
Finally, as the breeding season gets underway, make sure you do your bit for our wildlife. Keep putting out food for garden birds and you can place bug boxes or bundles of hallow stems in corners where insects can lay their eggs.
Willie the Worm