MARCH GARDENING JOBS – FROM OUR EXPERT JASON HARKER

Spring has finally arrived – although you wouldn’t know it by this snowy weather we have been experiencing! Snow will have little effect on a selection of plants such as perennials and bulbs that are underground, as the only effect will be to delay them in making an appearance. For your evergreens and hedges, there can be a few issues. Ensure to brush any snow off their branches to ensure they do not snap under the weight of the fallen snow and raise your plant pots off the ground to stop them freezing. Remember to also take care not to walk on your grass too, as you can cause unintentional damage.

All that being said, we would hope the weather does improve over the next few weeks, which means there will be lots of tasks to be getting on with to set your garden up for the rest of the year. A spring clean doesn’t just apply to your home – it needs to be carried out in your garden too! It is much easier and enjoyable to carry out a spring clean in your garden.

I would recommend that you first remove any dead annual plants and prune any perennials that you didn’t get round to in Winter. By removing the old growth, this will make room for the new growth when they start to flourish again. To keep perennials and shrubs in bloom for longer, remove spent flowers regularly.

It’s also time to start battling with those weeds. Damp soil makes it easier to pull out the weeds but I would advise using hand-tools instead of your hands to make the process faster. You just need a decent hand-trowel, a hoe and a small rake. I would also recommend you invest in a good systemic weed-killer that should be applied to the leaves on a dry sunny day.

Most of the weeds you remove can be added to your compost pile! I would always recommend a new pile for the new season, so give your compost a turn and dispose of any plant material that shows sign of disease. You should also add some fresh compost to your borders and flower beds so that the nutrients released give your plants a supply of food for the rest of Spring.

Clean out your water features and ponds! Remove any leaves or bits of rubbish that are residing on the water and scoop out all the algae. By topping them up with fresh water they will instantly look cleaner and become a focal feature of your garden again!

Finally, you can instantly make your garden look much cleaner and crisp by edging your borders and lawn! Grab your half-moon and hand shears and transform your garden from bleak, soggy winter to fresh and inspiring spring!

 

Jason Harker

JASON IS A PROFESSIONAL GARDENER AND LANDSCAPER, AND OWNER OF JHPS-GARDENS LTD.

HE REGULARLY WRITES A PIECE FOR OUR WEBSITE, PLUS THE SENTINEL NEWSPAPER,

AND IS A GO TO EXPERT ON BBC RADIO STOKE’S GARDENING PROGRAMME.