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March often comes bowling in 'like a lion' and temperatures can be well down into minus figures. However, as soon as storms have abated, there's not a moment to spare. Here are six garden tasks to attend to as soon as possible - because we all know that the month can end 'like a lamb' and soaring temperatures will result in a fantastic growth spurt outdoors.
There are plenty more sayings about the month of March, including the well-known: March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers. There's probably no denying that this is true. You can choose whether or not to believe 'As it rains in March so it rains in June'.
Flowers are out now!
Whatever the reality, there are snowdrops, daffodils, tiny irises and crocuses all flowering their socks off in March, come snow or shine. Cold early spring weather can be delightful because the landscape is often transformed into a magical winter wonderland filled with magical crystals and beautiful sparkle. It provides a great backdrop for those welcome, early flowers.
Get outside as soon as the ground is frost-free
Don't rest on your laurels for too long, however. There are at least six urgent jobs to do in the garden as soon as the snow has melted and the soil is no longer frozen:
Firstly, prepare supports for crops and climbers that will require help as they head vertically.
Now's the time. They can be planted unsprouted but an earlier crop and higher yields can be achieved by 'chitting' them first. This simply means allowing them to sprout in a bright, unheated room. Then when the sprouts are about 5cm long, plant the seed potatoes at about 30cm deep. Allow about 60cm between rows. Make sure the ground isn't frozen.
Plant bare root fruit trees and bushes.
Get them in as soon as the ground is frost-free and they will soon be making new roots. March is just about the last month in which you will be able to purchase bare-root plants until the autumn and winter.
Weed your beds!
It really is the key to good gardening for the entire season. Weed species spread really quickly as soon as the sun comes out. Oh, and keep on top of the slug problem too.
Finally, put in place as many benefits as you can think of to boost biodiversity and wildlife in the garden
You don't have to be a wildlife expert in order to help living creatures. Early spring is a great time to put measures in place. Put up some insect houses, build piles of logs and stones, maybe create a pond. One more pleasurable task is to consider offering to help monitor hedgehog numbers. Wildlife Trust organisations across the entire UK run various schemes. For example, 'iSpy a Hedgehog' tracking scheme helps track the whereabouts of these much-loved little beasts. It's all about habitat restoration and awareness, trying to improve the long-term picture for these little beasts. The scheme will also equip people with knowledge to enable them to appropriately respond to planning applications which could impact upon these prickly beasts.