March, the time for a thorough spring clean in both the garden and the shed.
Garden tools that have been stored away for the winter will need a good clean and repair, if necessary for the year ahead. Your lawn mower will need to be taken for a service and blade sharpen - its also a good time to see what earlier promotions are on in retailers to invest in new or upgrade existing equipment.
Check garden furniture and the shed for rot, repair any damage and then treat with wood preservative. Have a think about sheds and fencing, do they need to be traditional brown? I really like to used matt block colours, dove grey, pompadour blue and tones of sage to provide foils for planting and to add warmth to schemes. Brushes and rollers will normally suffice for this job but if you have a large area to cover, invest in a sprayer.
Mark out and dig over new borders and beds, dig in loads of organic matter and stack any turf that you have removed upside down in a corner where it will rot down into compost. Do not just turn over turf and dig in as it will continue to grow and regrow! Of course if you have no space to stack the turf there is always good old fashioned double digging which incorporates the grass layer, known as the ‘trash’
Moss and weeds will need to be removed from terraces, paths and driveways. The easiest way is to pressure hose them but if you do not have one an afternoon with a good kneeler and old butter knife can be just as effective.
Some planting can be done this month. Summer flowering bulbs, shallots, early potatoes and onion sets can all go in. Containers can be top dressed with fresh compost, perennials can be lifted and divided and the lawn can be mown on dry days. Keep your secateurs handy for the occasional bit of pruning. Winter flowering shrubs that have finished flowering can be cut back. Ensure that all roses have been pruned by mid-March.
If you have a fishpond, remove pond heaters, switch on the fountain after cleaning the pump and start to feed the fish.
and with all that do remember that march brings the promise of sitting outside for a brief few moments in an increasingly warm sun with a good old cup of tea!