Jobs of the Month
My optimism is growing. Longer days and happier times lie ahead. March is the start of something colourful. The sight of bright yellow daffodil is a good start. There is something so bright and breezy about them. This is the month where everything starts to grow so don't take your eye off the ball as you could be on the back foot for the rest of the summer if you do!
Here are some jobs you can be doing this month:
Prune Cornus (Dogwood)
Cornus are known for their colourful stems in winter but now is the time to prune them to stimulate the plant to grow new shoots.
Prune each stem right down to a low junction or thin out if you want a higher shrub. Ensure your pruning cut is to an angle as this allows the water to run off.
The stems you have cut off can be put in a vase indoors or you could stick them in the ground to make new plants.
Wake up your Dahlias
If your dahlias were put into hibernation at the back end of last year then now is the time to wake them up.
Check the tubers are firm and discard any that have rotted or are soft. Plant them up in pots or you can put several tubers in one tray and lightly cover with multi-purpose compost.
Water lightly and keep them in a frost-free place to allow them to start growing. Once shoots appear you can take cuttings for new plants.
Continue to let them grow and plant outside once the risk of frost has passed.
Buying rolls of turf is the quickest way to get a new lawn or to replace worn-out areas.
Prepare the soil by removing weeds and stones and tread the area down with your heels to create a firm base.
Lay down each roll working backwards so that you don't step on the new grass. You can use a board to do this if necessary and push each piece together. Keep it watered until you see new growth and only cut it once established.
Note - Always lay turf within a day of receiving it/buying it.
Bush roses need pruning now. If you don't do it now then all the flowers will grow at the end of the stems and they will grow so high you won't be able to reach!
Always start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Then remove congestion inside the bush. Cut back the main stems to about waist high and always cut to an outward facing bud. If the weather is cold and frosty you can leave this until April.
Leave climbers and ramblers as these are pruned at a different time.
Do bear in mind that I write this at the beginning of each month so there might be some jobs that you will need to wait until the weather improves to do some of them. Timing will also vary depending on where you live in the UK.
Easy peasy tasks
Sow tomato seeds indoors
Tidy your flower beds by cutting down old stems, clear away debris and loosen the soil
Watch out for frosts. Tender plants might need some protection
Cut the grass. Yep that's right! But ONLY if its dry
Keep on top of weeding as they will be growing now
Chit potatoes. All it means is letting them sprout before you plant them in the ground
Divide your snowdrops if you want them elsewhere in your garden. This is called 'in the green'
Hedgehogs are out of hibernation so start leaving out some food and water
Spruce up your outdoor pots by replenishing the top layer of soil and remove any plants that have past their best. Give them a water too
Slugs and snails are emerging from hibernation now and its in spring that they do the most damage so keep your eyes peeled
Deadhead daffodils once finished flowering by snapping the seed head off. Never cut the green stems or leaves off!
Prune Hydrangeas. Remove old flowerheads to just above a bud. Cut out thin and weak stems and remove one or two old dark stems at the base