We’ve made it through the dark times! For me March is the month of possibilities and potential. The days are getting visibly longer and life is starting to show signs of reappearing outside.
Shoots are shooting and if you’ve been planting indoors all your early efforts are becoming vibrant bursts of green. So this is where the fun really begins.
Weeds – The new shoots of spring are the first sign of new life, but if the shoots are weeds they’ve got to go. Spend time now really looking after your beds. Take the time to remove every trace of weeds that have started to germinate under the March sun. In my experience trying to do this quickly will only lead to more trouble later on. View each bed as something to be thoroughly cleaned and tidied and don’t stop until you’re happy it’s perfect.
Go Hardy or go Home – The reason your beds should be carefully prepared is that it’s time for outside planting! Although it’s starting to feel like spring do keep an eye on the weather and make sure you’re aware of forthcoming frosts – if in doubt wait a few weeks or protect your new crops under cloches. Not everything can be planted now, select hardy crops such as leeks, lettuces, parsnips and onions. Some herbs can be sown towards the end of the month too. Parsley, fennel and coriander will all be fine – again protect if frosty.
Pest Control – As life begins again, hungry animals are keeping as close an eye on your gardening efforts as you are. If the temperature is mild, slugs and snails may have begun to appear around the place. Depending on your style they will need dealing with. We try to avoid chemicals where possible and by heading out at dusk with a torch we’re always amazed at the amount of slimy guys we find. We usually feed our collection to the ducks – we like to think of it as the circle of life!
The Wet Stuff – Water is a precious commodity for your garden – with so many of us now on water meters and the unpredictable British Weather it’s always worth thinking about sorting some water storage for your garden. Water butts under existing drainpipes are a great way to start. Also think about putting guttering on your sheds and any other outside structures. If you do this now you’ll be well prepared when the hosepipe bans kick in (I know, I’ve jinxed it now – wet summer here we come!)
So from here on out it’s going to be full steam ahead. Savour this moment of anticipation – we all know it’s the best bit. ∎