Action for March Top jobs
Must do jobs this month
Cut back coloured stems
Willow (salix) and dogwoods (cornus) grown for their coloured winter stems should be pruned now. Cut each stem to an outward-facing bud within 5cm of the old wood. If you want larger willows and dogwoods, prune every other year.
You can either keep your prunings to use next month as supports for herbaceous perennials or shred them to add to the compost heap. Remember to always wear gloves and safety goggles when shredding.
Deal with weeds
Weeds will be starting to burst into growth just like everything else in the garden. A hoe makes short work of clearing a large area.
Aim to skim just below the soil surface to sever the weed tops cleanly from the roots. Always hoe on a sunny, dry day to prevent the weeds re-growing after you hoe.
When the ground is cleared, apply a layer of mulch to suppress further weed growth. We found chipped bark was good at preventing weed seedlings appearing when applied 5cm deep.
Plant summer-flowering bulbs
While their spring-flowering cousins are putting on a show, it’s time to think about planting summer-flowering bulbs such as camassia and alliums. Look out for them at the garden centre.
Check bulbs feel firm to the touch and don’t have any signs of mould. Like all bulbs, they prefer good drainage so put a handful of grit at the bottom of the planting hole.