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March brings spring with it

This month’s timely tips are all about getting a head start in the garden, I call this the "full prep month" as most of the jobs that you complete this month put you in the right spot for all the April activities that are required, I find for me some windows of time on a daily basis helps break the back of the tiring load and that nagging thought in your mind that goes like “where do I start its such a mess”

Fertilise your beds. Once your soil is workable this will pay massive dividends in the summer. Dig a 5cm (or more) layer of compost or well-rotted manure into your beds to prepare for the growing season ahead. You can also work in a general-purpose fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure, or fish, blood and bone.

Put supports in. If any of your garden plants need supporting this year, put them in now, so plants can grow up through them. Adding supports afterwards is trickier and often looks unattractive.

Clear back path edges, best to define before your plants start to put on a spurt of growth, it’s a good time to take stock on the layout and potential overcrowding from some plants

Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a slow-release fertiliser by lightly forking it into the soil surface.

Feed roses with special rose feed or balanced fertiliser as they come into growth.

Prune roses to encourage quite hard to encourage strong new growth.

Prune clematis - prune early-flowering varieties once their flowers have finished and summer-flowering ones before they start into active growth.

Finish cutting back cornus and salix cultivars, and other shrubs grown for their colourful winter stems. Cut them right back to their bases.

Cut out the top rosette of leaves from mahonia shrubs after they have flowered, to encourage branching.

Finish cutting back dead foliage from perennials and ornamental grasses to make way for new growth.

Prune overwintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot.

Prune winter-flowering jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) after flowering, to encourage new growth for next year's blooms. Cut back the previous year’s growth to 5cm from the old wood.

Keep an eye out for slugs as the weather warms. Pay special attention to soft, new growth, which slugs love. Use nematodes for an effective organic control.

Cut the old leaves off hellebores to remove any foliar diseases and make spring flowers more visible.

Continue to deadhead winter pansies to stop them setting seed. This will encourage flushes of new flowers throughout the spring

Deadhead daffodils as the flowers finish and let the foliage die back naturally.

Deadhead hydrangeas before new growth appears. Cut to about one third of last season's growth.

Mow your lawn if it needs it. Choose a dry day and set your blades higher than usual this will allow the movement of air through the lawn and get it of to a great start

It seems like a never ending list to complete, it you feel you are losing the will drop me a line I am always happy to assist or answer your questions direct.

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