Gardening jobs you need to do now before April weather arrives, according to Monty Don

By Staff

Before you know it, we will be in April, so it is time to get cracking with these specific gardening jobs before the weather arrives, TV presenter Monty Don has warned

There isn’t much time to waste, so you need to crack on with these gardening jobs ASAP.

This time of year is a crucial one in your garden, and there is plenty to be getting on with this month before the April weather arrives, according to horticulturist and Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don. From lawn care and pruning to moving plants around if you’re soil is ready to handle it, if you’re green fingered and keen to get your green space in the best condition possible before we are firmly in the warmer months, you will want to follow these tips and get to work.

Sharing on his blog exactly what jobs you need to be getting on with this March, the TV presenter and gardening expert explains that the changeable weather we often experience at this time of year can impact what you should be doing – particularly when it comes to moving things around or planting.

“If your soil is ready then March is a good time to plant and move things around. But ‘ready’ means, above all, warm enough. The only way to know this is by touch. Pick up a handful of earth. If it feels cold and clammy to the skin then seeds will not germinate and roots will not grow,” explains the expert, “If it feels warm, holds together when squeezed and yet can easily be crumbled then it is ideal.”

Every few years – three to five to be exact – you should divide any herbaceous plants you have, Don explains. This can be done by digging the entire thing up and getting rid of the centre, keeping the more strongly growing external areas, and replanting them together, which will create one big plant.

When it comes to your lawn, you should give it a careful trim in March, but be careful not to mow it too short – a little haircut will give it room to grow well in the summer. If you’re plants and climbers need a bit of a cutback, you can still do this, although it is best tackled earlier in March, Don warns.

You don’t need to overthink this process, the expert explains: “I know that pruning can be the cause of some anxiety but there is only one rule to follow which is always cut back to something, be it a side shoot or leaf bud. Other than that do not worry unduly about outward facing buds or any such finessing”.

If you have any ornamental grasses in your garden then now is the time to cut them back strongly, however, evergreen ones should be left for now, instead just pulling out any material that has died.

In terms of planting, get woody shrubs and bare rooted plants into the ground now, and Don explains, “Because these are plants that will hopefully remain in the garden for years to come it is worth taking some trouble with their planting.

“Make sure that every scrap of perennial weeds are removed and dig a wide but shallow hole about 9 inches deep. Loosen the subsoil but do not add any compost or soil improver. I like to dust myccorrhizae over the roots to help establishment and plant slightly proud of the soil level but firming the roots well to form a slight cone.

“Water generously before mulching thickly with good compost,” the expert advises, but hold off on planting out any of your seedlings just yet because the changeable and unpredictable March weather means this isn’t a good time.

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