Gardening jobs for March: 10 tasks to welcome in the start of spring

As longer and lighter days approach, March is the perfect time to get in the garden

march gardening jobs
(Image credit: Markswallow / Getty Images)

As we enter our third month of the year, you may have noticed the sun setting a little later than usual. March brings us longer and lighter days, meaning there are more opportunities for us to get in the garden. After a long winter protecting our outside spaces from the frosty temperatures, it's finally time to start getting ready for spring. 

If you're new here, it's my aim to share each of the garden maintenance tasks I'll be completing throughout 2024. After moving house last summer, my garden moved further and further down the priority list, so these tasks are keeping me on track. Make sure to check out my gardening jobs for January and gardening jobs for February if you haven't already. 

For this month, I've spoken to Craig Wilson, Co-founder, Director and in-house gardening expert at Gardeners Dream, and Jamie Shipley, gardening expert and Managing Director of Hedges Direct. Both experts shared with me their advice on March gardening, and these are the jobs needed to start priming your outdoor space for the warmer months. 

Before you find out more,  have you secured the 10 essentials every gardener should have in their tool kit yet?

Garden maintenance

1. Remove dirt and algae from paths and walls 

Throughout the colder months, you may have noticed that garden paths and patios have acquired a slimy green coating. Not only can this make things slippery, but it does nothing for the visual aesthetics of your garden. As the temperatures warm up and rainfall reduces, this month is a good time to start honing in on making your garden look appealing again. 

Give paths, patios and walls a blast with a pressure washer to get them looking fresh and clean again, but make sure to check out the 6 mistakes everyone makes with pressure washers before you start. 

2. Clear out your shed

As the weather begins to warm up, you’re likely to find yourself getting much busier in the garden, so there is no time like the present to get yourself and your shed organised. Whilst it’s not the most exciting garden job, you’ll thank yourself when spring/summer arrives.

Start by checking any garden chemicals for expiry dates, and if they are out of date, make sure to follow local laws and guidelines for disposal. It is also worth checking your tools, making sure they are still in good condition and stored in a way that makes them easily accessible and will keep them from rusting.

3. Take action against pests

Although pests like slugs and caterpillars are around all year, their activity increases during the warm and wet weather of spring. Pests are a particular problem in spring as they can kill your new seedlings, destroy new growth in plants and create holes in delicate leaves.

Slugs and caterpillars can be controlled by: 

• Handpicking them off your plants in the evening and moving them to less vulnerable areas of your garden.

• Raking your soil every so often, causing slugs to be exposed to predators.

• Keeping all your vulnerable new plants in one area, and prioritise protecting these from pests. You can add copper barriers known to repel slugs or textured mulch they find difficult to travel over.

4. Prune your shrubs

Whilst it’s important to wait until frosty weather has subsided before pruning, it's important not to leave it too late in the year. If you do, the growth cycle will have started, meaning you’re at risk of cutting off this summer’s blooms or next winter’s new growth for winter-flowering shrubs.

You’ll also be leaving your plants more susceptible to 'bleeding', occouring when sap escapes from a pruning cut and causes your plant to be vulnerable to disease. Plants 'bleed' more easily in spring once they’ve come out of their dormant stage and more sap is circulating their systems. 

Lawn care

5. Get your first trim of the year in

Finally, it is time for the first law trim of the year! Use one of the best lawn mowers, making sure to wait for a dry day before giving your lawn a light mow. Make sure to raise the blades on your lawnmower to 0.5cm higher than your usual cutting height so as not to cut it back too far.

6. Feed your lawn

To boost the growth of your lawn and help it to recover from the winter months, it's recommended to apply a good quality lawn feed towards the end of the month. A high nitrogen feed will work best, but other alternatives have less of an environmental impact and will also work well.


7. Continue deadheading 

Throughout March, continue to deadhead winter bedding flowers such as pansies, removing old stems and flowers. The simplest way to do it is by pinching or snapping off sad-faced blooms with finger and thumb, but stick to the best secateurs for plants with thick or tough stems. 

8. Sow flower seeds

The best variety of seeds to sow in March are 'hardy annuals'. These are flowers which carry out their life cycle within one season of the year and are most tolerant to spring frosts. A few examples include poppies, sweet peas, sunflowers and cornflowers. 

It's recommended to break up your soil with a pitchfork to remove any lumps which might stop your plants breaking through the surface to find the sunlight.  Any obstructions will waste their small energy reserves, killing them before they reach the surface.

9. Plant and prune rose bushes 

Late March is the ideal month for planting roses as the ground is neither too wet nor too dry. Make sure to plant in heavy soils or in cold areas to see the best growth.

If you already have a number of rose bushes planted, now is a good time to prune established bushes and standard roses as they start growing. Pruning will allow for greater and more prolific growth and blooms come summer.

10. Plant summer flowering bulbs

March is also a good time to start planting summer flowering bulbs such as Begonias, Dahlias and Alliums. Before planting, make sure to improve the drainage of the soil, doing so will prevent the bulbs from rotting.

If you're interested in more, have you seen these 8 cheap DIY garden projects that will transform your outdoor space?

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.