From the garden: Neil’s maintenance tips for March

No matter the time of year, whether there’s rain or shine, there’s always plenty of things to do in your garden! This is especially true of March, with spring’s warmer temperatures and brighter, sunnier days becoming more consistent from the middle of the month.


This gives you a great opportunity to take care of the maintenance tasks you weren’t able to complete in the colder months, such as ensuring all your gardening tools and equipment are cleaned and in full working order. the lawn may also be long enough to require a light mow, so make sure this is done on dry days to prevent damaging your lawn.


Another gardening task should undertake this month is ensuring your paths and patios are cleared of any slimy patches of leaves and other debris, as these can cause a slip risk and provide a place for busy slugs and snails to hide. These can be removed with either a rake, broom or a pressure washer.


To get your blooms looking fresh and colourful in time for the warmer weather, you should know what hardy annuals need to be sown, as well as prune the plants that have already bloomed. Clematis, rose, hydrangea, honeysuckle and wisteria are just some of the plants that will require attention this month, and you should be removing any dead flowers to encourage fresh new growth.


With spring firmly underway, Neil Gallagher from our grounds maintenance division shares his top tips on what you should do in the garden this month…


Sow hardy annualsfield of blue bells in spring


Hardy annuals have a typical lifespan of around one year, and they’re able to tolerate harsher weather conditions, such as a light frost. This makes them perfect for sowing in March, as despite temperatures getting warmer, the weather can still be temperamental during this month (as this year’s snowfall has already proved). Hardy annuals are also easy to grow because they prefer poorer soil that hasn’t been treated with fertiliser.


Some examples of hardy annuals to sow in March include cornflowers, ladybirds, pot marigold, baby’s breath, calendula, cornflowers, and sunflowers. Before sowing, however, remember that although the soil doesn’t need to be fertilised, you’ll still need to clear it of weeds!


Get your ponds ready for spring


Although you should have been maintaining your pond through the winter by keeping it clear of leaves and debris, there are a number of things you should do to care for your pond this month. As a starting point, remove any coverings you have placed over the pond to protect it from leaves, and remove any leaves, algae and debris that’s left over. We also recommend cleaning pond filters, and checking your pumps and light features (and replacing them if needed).


Now is also the time to start feeding the fish in your pond again, though this should be done little and often. If you feed them when the temperature is too low (for example, when it’s icy), you risk the food being left uneaten, which can cause it to pollute the water and encourage algae.


Control weeds earlydandelions in a spring field


If the weather is warm enough for weeds to start popping up in your lawn and plant borders, then you should be taking steps to control them as soon as possible. As we’ve already explained, any weeds will need to be removed from the soil before you start sowing your hardy annuals. Weeds thrive in warmer weather, so they’ll quickly get out of hand if you give them the chance to. However, if it’s still cold and icy in the garden, then treating weeds in your lawn may be best left until April.


Three weeds that run rife in spring are crabgrass (which appears in bare areas of the lawn, and can be caused by consistently cutting it too short), dandelion, and Dutch clover (which is also known as white clover, and thrives in soil that’s low in nitrogen). These should be removed by hand or treated with an herbicide. However, Dutch clover can sometimes be eradicated by treating the lawn with a fertiliser.


At PHS Greenleaf, we have over 25 years’ experience of providing our exterior and interior planting services for businesses across the UK. Contact us for more information!