March Gardening Jobs

crocuses in a spring garden
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As the days lengthen (at last!) and the temperatures begin to rise (hooray!), March marks the exciting transition from winter to spring here in the UK. It’s a time when our gardens come back to life providing us with new growth and bursts of colour. For the avid gardeners among us, March can be a busy month filled with essential tasks to prepare the garden for the coming season. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a complete beginner, here are some of the March gardening jobs you can look at tackling.

Prepare the Soil

March is an ideal time to prepare your soil for planting. Begin by clearing away any debris, weeds, and some of the fallen leaves that may have accumulated over winter – I say some because we want to leave a good amount for the small beasties who have made this their homes.

Start by loosening your soil within the beds and planters with a fork to improve aeration and drainage. Your next job is to check your compost bin to see how much garden and kitchen scrap waste has broken down over the winter months. Using homemade compost is one of the best ways in which to enrich the soil in your garden, however, if you don’t have the space for a compost bin make sure you select a nutrient-rich, peat-free option from your local garden centre. If you are unsure about which compost would be suitable for your garden/soil type, ask for some advice from the staff. Mix your compost into your aerated soil well.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

March is the perfect time to start sowing some of your seeds indoors for vegetables, annuals and herbs. Begin with early vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and lettuce in small pots or seed trays. Place these in a warm, sunny spot or under grow lights to encourage germination.


Outdoor Seed Sowing

You can begin to sow the following outside:

  • Early carrots under a cloche
  • Onions and shallots
  • Spinach
  • Parsnips (if the weather is warm enough)
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Early potatoes
  • Peas
  • Beetroot

If you have winter veg in your beds, tend to these, check how they have fared over the colder and wetter months, and feed as required. You can also buy some berry plants and herb plants to plant outside at this time.

Greenhouse Jobs

If you have protected your greenhouse with bubble wrap over winter, this can now be removed and your windows cleaned up. This is also a good time to check for damage, pests and have a general tidy-up to get your greenhouse back to its best. On warmer days you could open the door to allow some air flow to help prevent condensation build up. You can use this space instead of your home to grow some of the seeds mentioned above as well as celeriac, celery, parsley, french beans and peas.

Pruning and Tidying

You can continue with pruning things like deciduous trees, shrubs and roses before new growth begins. Remove dead, damaged or crossing branches to improve air circulation and to promote healthy growth. Prune summer-flowering shrubs such as Buddleia and Lavatera to encourage vigorous blooms later in the season. Don’t forget to tidy up perennial borders by cutting back dead foliage from last year’s growth.

roses being pruned

Divide and Plant Perennials

Divide overcrowded clumps of perennials such as hostas, daylilies and ornamental grasses to rejuvenate the plants and create new additions to your garden. Carefully lift the clumps with a spade and divide them into smaller sections, ensuring each division has healthy roots and shoots. Replant divisions in well-prepared soil and water thoroughly to help them establish quickly.

Prepare for Frost Protection

Although the worst of winter is hopefully behind us, frost can still pose a threat to tender plants in March. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and be prepared to protect vulnerable plants with frost cloths, horticultural fleece or cloches during cold snaps. Think about moving potted plants to sheltered locations or indoors to prevent frost damage.

Tend to Lawns

March is the ideal time to give your lawn some much-needed attention after the winter months. Begin by raking away any debris and moss to allow air and nutrients to reach the roots and then aerate compacted soil by spiking or using aeration tools to improve drainage and promote healthy growth. Consider applying a spring lawn fertiliser to give your grass an early boost. If possible hold off mowing your lawn just yet or just give it a tiny trim if you feel it needs a tidy. If you planted out bulbs within your lawn in the winter, these should now be bursting into life, making it a fabulous focal point.

Care for Wildlife

Continue feeding the birds that visit your garden as they will be looking to increase their energy for mating season. Now is also a good time for putting up new bird boxes, adding a bird bath, leaving a pile of leaves/twigs/pet hair out for nest-building and ensuring that there is plenty of cover in your bushes and trees for them. You could also begin to place more bug houses around your garden, think about incorporating a pond in your designs for this year and creating gaps under or in fences to allow hedgehogs to easily pass between gardens.

Plan and Design

This month isn’t as busy as April onwards will be so you can continue to use the quieter moments to plan and design your garden for the coming months. Take stock of your garden layout and sketch out new planting schemes, create lists of plants you’d like to try this year and spend some time researching those.

March gardening jobs are far more exciting than the previous months and this is just the beginning now, April, May and June are going to be very busy and fun. I cannot wait!

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