Get your garden ready for March

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An avid gardener is always well prepared for every season of the year. With the arrival of March, the garden gears up for more colour as the month is well known for a profusion of blooms. To get the garden ready for March, preparations should begin in right earnest from early January. As soon as the frosty winds stop blowing, plants should be pruned and a plan should be drawn on which flower bulbs should be collected and an area should be earmarked for the flowerbeds. By February weeds should be removed, hedges pruned, and a decision made on which flower bulbs to buy for the garden in early March. Here are some easy ways to go make your garden spring ready!

1. Cleaning the pond

modern Houses by DUA Architecture LLP
DUA Architecture LLP

Greensleeves Entrance and Fish Pond

DUA Architecture LLP

Some individual houses have the luxury of a pond wherein lotus and water lilies are planted. The pond should be prepared by removing material that has collected right from winter such as dried leaves blown in by the wind, fish waste and other material shed by the trees. Cleaning the pond in spring will reduce parasites and help increase the availability of nutrients and reduce the growth of algae. If the pond has a drain at the bottom, periodic changes of water will reduce the accumulation of debris. Also, when changing the water, care should be taken to minimize the level of chlorine.

2. Cleaning the lawn from moss:

The growth of moss in the lawn generally indicates that there is a deep-rooted problem in the lawn and that has to be addressed first. The first step would be to find out why the grass is dying making way for the growth of moss. Compacted soil, poor drainage, Low pH and lack of sunlight are the main reasons that affect lawn grass.

Soil compaction can kill grass roots paving way for moss to hold onto areas. Grass does not thrive in damp areas and such damp places make moss thrive. Excess water can suffocate grass roots. For good growth of grass the soil should essentially be moderate and slightly alkaline. When the soil has low pH with high acid levels, it affects the growth of grass. Moss also thrives on acidic soil. Lack of sunlight also makes it difficult for grass to grow and moss thrives in shade. In order to kill moss, applying a moss killer is essential. These applications generally contain ferrous sulphate or ferrous ammonium sulphate. This solution should be sprayed on all moss-covered areas. Moss should then be raked from the area, post which the desired grass seeds should be sown. It is important to keep the area moist until the grass has grown.

3. Take care of the branches

When there are trees in the garden, it is important to care for them by pruning and cutting branches or stems, which will benefit the tree as well as the other plants in the garden. It is important to remove damaged branches to prevent insects and decay from entering the tree. Early March is an ideal time to cut branches and stems. The branches should be cut in such a way that it increases air and sunlight, which will reduce the occurrence of disease. A dense canopy can be thinned out, water sprouts and suckers can be eliminated. This will help maintain a strong tree structure. Early removal of vigorous branches can help maintain a natural tree form. Dead and damaged tree branches should be pruned immediately. It is always good to determine which are branches that need pruning and the equipment need to prune the stems. Pruning helps in the growth of trees if they are done properly.

4. Burn the dead wood

The damaged tree branches can be cut and used for fuel. Burning the wood can also ensure that the disease will not spread over to other plants and trees in the garden. Care should be taken that the wood should not be burnt close to the tree or other plants but far away from the garden. A fire pit can be dug at one corner of the garden and the wood can be burnt there.

5. Start planting the seeds and bulbs

Planting new seeds in spring is a great way to start a spring garden. Make sure your patch gets a good share of sunlight, which is usually abundant in March. That would be essential for the seedlings. It is also good to start small by sowing seeds in small seed trays and tending for them indoors before replanting them outdoors after they grow, over a course of a week or ten days.

Some seeds can directly be planted in pots and do not need trays. Smaller seeds can be sprinkled while larger seeds are usually buried in the soil. When preparing the pot, care should be taken to mix the right amount of soil and planting mix. The soil should be moist enough but not soggy with water. The seedlings in the tray should also get sufficient light or else the plants will grow tall and leggy. The seeds planted in trays can be moved outdoors gradually and planted in pots or the ground depending on space available. It is also important to plant depending on the amount of sunlight or shade they require.

Bulbs can be planted directly in pots or on the ground. As with all the other kinds of plants, care should be taken not to make the soil soggy. Periodically all plants should be sprayed with liquid fertilizer or a plant mix to help in the healthy growth of plants. Be careful of mold since it is an indicator of excess water in plants. So watering should be suspended for a few days until the soil gets dry. The mold can also be scraped off, if needed.

6. Add a bird house

Installing bird boxes will not only add a décor element to the garden like the one in this picture, designed by Geoffroy Gillant, but also increase the bird inflow into a garden. Birds, apart from nesting in these boxes, can also feed on insects that attack plants. They are also natural propagators of seeds in the garden. Care should be taken while installing the box. It should be angled in such a way that rain does not enter the box, excessive wind and strong sunlight. If you want to start right away, here is a good read - This is What You Should Do With Your Garden in January

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