March Gardening Guide

As the days grow longer and the temperatures begin to rise, March is the arrival of spring, breathing new life into our gardens after the dormancy of winter. This transitional month is the perfect time to prepare their outdoor spaces for the abundant growth and beauty that lies ahead. From planting early crops to tending to wildlife habitats, here are some essential gardening tasks to tackle this March.

As the days lengthen and the promise of spring beckons, it's time to don your gardening gloves and embark on a journey of rejuvenation in your outdoor haven. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the essential tasks to undertake this month, from sowing seeds for a bountiful harvest to adding vibrant blooms to your garden beds. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, March offers a wealth of opportunities to nurture your green space and sow the seeds for a thriving season ahead. Let's dive in!

Maintenance and Preparation:

With the arrival of spring, it's essential to prepare your garden for the growing season ahead. Clearing away any debris, dead foliage, and weeds will help promote healthy growth and prevent the spread of disease. Pruning dormant trees and shrubs can also be done in March before new growth emerges, ensuring a tidy and well-manicured garden. Take the time to inspect garden tools and equipment, sharpening blades and repairing any damage to ensure they're in optimal condition for the months ahead.

Planting for the Season Ahead

March is the ideal time for gardeners to sow seeds for a diverse array of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Cool-season crops like peas, lettuce, spinach, and carrots can be directly sown into the ground, while indoor sowing accommodates warm-season annuals such as tomatoes, peppers, and marigolds. Additionally, consider adding perennial vegetables like asparagus and rhubarb, alongside spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips, to infuse colour and charm into garden beds.
Furthermore, March invites the introduction of flowering plants to enhance outdoor spaces, including early spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and crocuses, which bring cheerful bursts of colour. Perennial flowering plants like primroses, pansies, and violas thrive in the cooler temperatures, while native wildflowers such as bluebells and cowslips bolster local biodiversity and attract pollinators. Whether aiming for vibrant floral displays or ecological enrichment, March offers ample opportunities to sow the seeds for a diverse and captivating garden.

Seed Sowing

To kickstart your spring and summer gardens start seed sowing in march. For cool-season vegetables like peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, and radishes thrive when sown directly into the ground as soon as the soil can be worked. Prepare the soil by clearing away any debris and weeds, then create rows or patches for planting. Sow seeds to the depth specified on the packet, spacing them according to the plant's requirements, and cover lightly with soil. Water gently to ensure good soil contact and keep the soil consistently moist until germination occurs.
Indoors, start seeds for warm-season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and courgettes in seed trays or pots filled with seed starting mix. Place them in a warm, sunny location or under grow lights, keeping the soil evenly moist until seedlings emerge. Transplant seedlings outdoors after the last frost date, following spacing recommendations on the seed packet. With careful planning and attention to detail, March offers an excellent opportunity to sow a diverse array of seeds, setting the stage for a bountiful harvest in the months to come.

Planting Bulbs

Get a head start on their spring garden by planting a variety of bulbs that will burst into vibrant blooms later in the season. Some popular bulbs to plant in March include daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths. Begin by selecting healthy bulbs from reputable suppliers, ensuring they are firm and free from signs of damage or disease. Prepare the planting area by loosening the soil and adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage and fertility. Plant bulbs at a depth roughly two to three times their size, spacing them according to the instructions on the packet. Position them with the pointed end facing upwards, gently pressing them into the soil, and cover with a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Water thoroughly after planting, and continue to water as needed throughout the growing season. With proper care and attention, these bulbs will reward gardeners with a spectacular display of colour and fragrance come springtime.

Creating a Home For Nature

Welcome wildlife into your outdoor space this spring by, providing food, water. To attract songbirds such as robins, blackbirds, and sparrows, consider hanging bird feeders filled with seeds, nuts, and suet balls. Additionally, planting native shrubs and trees like hawthorn, elderberry, and rowan will provide natural food sources and nesting sites. Creating water sources such as birdbaths or shallow dishes will not only offer hydration for birds but also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Planting a variety of nectar-rich flowers such as lavender, buddleia, and foxgloves will provide sustenance for pollinators throughout the spring and summer months. Incorporating features like log piles, rockeries, and wildflower meadows will offer shelter and breeding habitats for a diverse range of wildlife. By adopting these practices, gardeners can play a crucial role in conserving and enhancing the natural environment, while also enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of a wildlife-friendly garden.
To support hedgehogs emerging from hibernation in March, provide sheltered areas with piles of leaves or logs for nesting, and leave out shallow dishes of water and supplementary food like cat or dog food. Ensure your garden has hedgehog-friendly access points, such as small gaps in fences, to allow them to roam freely. For frogs and toads, create wildlife ponds or provide access to existing water bodies for breeding, and avoid using chemical pesticides or herbicides that could harm these amphibians and their habitats.

Soil Care and Fertilization:

To prepare your soil for spring , start by clearing away any debris, weeds, and dead foliage from the garden beds. Before planting new crops, it's crucial to assess and improve the quality of your soil. Conducting a soil test will help assess its pH levels and nutrient content, allowing you to determine any deficiencies. Based on the results, amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve its structure and fertility. Avoid working the soil when it's too wet to prevent compaction and damage to soil structure, opting instead to wait for drier conditions. Ensure the soil is adequately drained and consider incorporating a layer of mulch to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and protect against erosion. Following these steps will create a healthy and fertile foundation for your plants to thrive throughout the spring season.

Planning and Design:

March is an excellent time to revisit your garden design and plan any changes or additions you'd like to make. Consider incorporating sustainable gardening practices such as rainwater harvesting, mulching, and companion planting to maximise efficiency and minimise environmental impact. Creating designated areas for relaxation and entertainment, such as patios or seating areas, will enhance the usability and enjoyment of your outdoor space throughout the spring and summer months.
March offers a wealth of opportunities for gardeners to prepare their outdoor spaces for the coming season. By undertaking essential tasks such as planting, maintenance, wildlife conservation, soil care, and planning, you can ensure a thriving and beautiful garden that will delight both you and the local wildlife throughout the spring and beyond. Embrace the rejuvenating energy of spring and let your garden flourish in the months ahead!