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  • Frosts can still be a hazard, so keep vulnerable plants protected at night. March winds are so notorious for their ferocity so check exposed plants are well supported.
  • Weed and dig over borders incorporating as much organic matter as you can – to stop chilly winds from drying out the soil.
  • Clean and repair your garden tools, book the lawn mower in for a service and check garden furniture for any rot.
  • When it is warm enough, treat sheds, fences and trellis with wood preservative.
  • Plant container-grown roses, shrubs and climbers (remember to plant climbers about 10” away from walls so they are not in a rain shadow) and give overgrown climbers a tidying haircut.
  • When the weather improves and the lawn has had a chance to dry out, give it a first cut with the blades on the highest setting – don’t be tempted if conditions are wet.
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs. Add some compost to the soil, a sprinkling of bonemeal and plant them slightly deeper than they were in the pot.
  • Cut down perennials that have been left standing over winter, including grasses even if they are still looking good. Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials and split polyanthus plants once they have finished flowering.
  • Looking ahead to summer buy young plants now for your hanging baskets and containers and pot them up so the moment the last frost is over, you will have bigger plants to go in the garden
  • Remove the top layer of soil from pot-grown shrubs and replace with fresh potting compost that contains a slow-release fertiliser.
  • If the weather really does turn dry, remember pots and containers will need watering, especially if they are near a wall and in a sheltered position.


  • If there hasn’t been much rain lawns may look a bit dry and brown. This shouldn’t do any harm and dormant buds will be activated when the rain showers arrive.
  • When watering your garden remember to do so early in the morning or late evening (not night) to avoid peak water evaporation and give your lawns and plants more of a drink for longer! Don’t water too late though because you don’t want your plants to be damp over night when fungus can start to grow.
  • To keep container plants cool you can move them into more shaded areas to protect them when the sun is at its strongest. Also remember to keep turning container plants to get equal sunshine on all sides.
  • To protect bedded plants from the heat when going on holiday you could lay 2-3 inch thick of mulch on top of the soil around plant roots; but keep it loose to enable air flow and stop any fungus from growing.
  • For days when the sun is not too intense you could put indoor house plants outside for an extra bit of sunshine.
  • Check the ties on climbers, large plants and roses as the tops of plants can get very heavy when in full bloom and will drop unless fixed properly.
  • Continue to dead head flowers to allow the new shoots to keep coming through and will keep your garden looking lovely for longer.
  • Prune bushes and perennials such as azaleas and rhododendrons late summer so that they can start their new growth for next spring.
  • Give annuals planted in containers a good cut back if they look like they have seen better days. Water well and give some feed. Petunias, alyssum and geraniums all need a good rejuvenation around this time of year.
  • There will be less new growth mid-late summer, so if your garden is lacking a bit of colour nicotiana and cosmos are ideal for filling gaps between shrubs and perennials such as penstemons and diascias and flowers such as plants such as dahlias or cannas will brighten up beds and borders.
  • You could also try adding some container plants in-between bigger shrubs for a splash of instant colour.
  • Beware of insects and fungi such as aphids, white flies and mildew which can become problematic during the summer when there is less breathing space in flower beds. These can spread rapidly so be on the lookout.
  • When removing fungus affected parts of plants remember to thoroughly clean any tools so that the fungus is not transferred to other areas.


  • First and foremost if you can set yourself up with a compost bin it will be really useful for any debris. Winter gives cuttings and leaves a great opportunity to break down and produce nutrient-rich compost, which can be used to give a boost to the garden in the spring.
  • Those lovely summer plants will no longer be looking their best and now is a good time to remove any plant debris, yellowing or dead leaves and weeds from flower beds and vegetable patches. Remaining debris provides the right condition for some nasty pests to make themselves at home, so you want to take control before they do!
  • Dig up the annuals (one season only plants) and place all debris in your compost bin.
  • Perennials should be cut back, especially big climbers such as vines which could pull down a fence if caught by strong winds! Make sure remaining foliage is securely fastened. Don’t prune any new trees as this is a job for the spring.
  • Give some thought as to what worked for your garden this year and make any necessary changes.
  • This is a good time to plant spring bulbs, new perennials and move any shrubs and trees. The soil is still warm and moist and there is still time for plants to establish themselves and bed down before the real cold sets in and the ground is too hard. Be careful to put bulbs at the right depth.
  • To get your lawn looking it’s best for spring remove dead grass and moss and don’t mow too often and let the grass grow a bit before the growth rate slows down. Apply seasonal lawn feed to give it a good balance of nutrients over the winter.


  • Re-plan and even consider some new landscaping ideas before the spring arrives. Winter can be a good time for hard landscaping projects.
  • Use a broom or stick to knock off excess snow that may have settled on bare tree branches and evergreens as the weight may be enough to break the branches.
  • Carefully remove snow from greenhouse or conservatory tops to prevent the damage and allow good light penetrations. 
  • Introduce a good layer of mulch to your beds and borders once you have concluded cutting back. The mulch will act as a good insulator and provide shelter for the new spring growth as well as keeping those weeds down.
  • Good mulch can be made from (hopefully) your composting site using a mixture of leaf mould, heavily bedded down grass cuttings and also a mixture of ash from your open fire place, multi-fuel burners or outside small bonfires.
  • During January and February it is also a good idea to turn over heavy clods of soil. During the winter the frost action is of great benefit to all gardeners because the expansion of water as it freezes pushes the soil particles apart, resulting in a much more friable texture
  • Plan which seeds you want to plant for spring and dig over beds reserved for annuals.

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