Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter
March is something of a turning point in the gardening world. After long months of waiting, it's all systems go as we set about planting and sowing. No matter what kind of plot you have to work with, you'll have to start by preparing the ground for your future plants. That means working the soil and providing it with some much-needed nutrition in the form of mature compost, organic fertiliser or farmyard manure. If you're really chomping at the bit, you can direct sow some cold-hardy plants but be sure to keep some seedlings indoors in the warmth, too. Alternatively, if you're happy enough to sit back and watch everyone else get back to work, you can start leisurely preparing your soil in mid-March and kick things off at the start of April instead.
While pointless (and even harmful) for lawns that have been in place for less than three years, scarifying can be a great way to freshen up an older lawn. The process consists in removing the tangle of dried up roots and plant matter known as thatch from your grass along with any moss than might have built up over the winter in shaded and moist spots. In turn, this helps air and water to penetrate the soil properly. If this is the first you're hearing about it, you might want to invest in a scarifier. There are three basic types of scarifier: hand scarifiers for those who aren't afraid of hard work, electric machines for surfaces measuring up to 500 m² and petrol-powered models for anything bigger.
As the best of the weather kicks off, plant growth gets into full swing and birds start to construct their nests. That's why it's really important to avoid cutting trees and hedges once spring gets properly underway. The start of March is really your last opportunity to prune but make absolutely sure to check all hedges and shrubs for nests before you start cutting. Once you're done, you can use a garden shredder to break down your cuttings into mulch to place around the base of shrubs and roses. Alternatively, throw the plant waste on your compost pile to complete their life cycle.
Anyone lucky enough to have an outdoor space has probably never appreciated it more. Whether you have a balcony or patio, we bet you're really making the most of your little slice of the outdoors. So why not give a bit back to nature by planting a few flowers? Meadow flower seed mixes can be broadcast sown in March for early flowering a few weeks later while trellises and walls can be covered with beautiful climbing plants such as clematis or honeysuckle. Finally, make the most of spring sales to invest in a little outdoor dining set for summer meals al fresco.
After months of chilly weather, we can imagine nothing better than firing up the barbecue and putting the garden furniture back into action. But let's be honest, you'll probably have a spot of cleaning and dusting to do first. So get the hose or pressure washer out and give your outdoor space a good scrub down. Trust us, it'll be worth it!
There's no end of benefits to keeping chickens including fresh organic eggs all year round. What's more, chickens will gobble up any kitchen waste you give them and produce a nutrient-packed fertiliser once they're done. But remember: these creatures require a lot of love and care, so don't do anything too spont-hen-eous...
Around the second half of the month, the weather should be dry enough for you to start the big spring clean. From patios to exterior walls, shutters to roofs, there's nothing that can escape the path of the pressure washer!
Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 248 guides
Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check. Advise everybody in the DIY shop? Check. Redo bathroom plumbing? Check. If it doesn't work, try again! I'll do my best to advise you in your projects.