March, “in like a lamb out like a lion”, so the old adage runs, we will have to see what this month brings, whatever it might be there is a lot to get on with in the garden and hopefully enjoy the first signs of Spring, the dawn chorus, first sightings of bumble bees & ladybirds in odd corners I have particularly noticed droves of them in the church bell tower & they tend to fly out when the bells are rung, perhaps they are adverse to the sound of the bells! To work; if your soil is workable dig in well rotted compost or manure, working in some general purpose fertilizer such as pelleted chicken manure or fish blood & bone. On the subject of feeding, trees, shrubs & hedges benefit from an application of slow release fertilizer. Mahonia’s greatly benefit , after they have flowered, to cut out the centres of each flowering point, this will encourage branching, and more flowers next year. Plant out forced bulbs into the garden , now they have finished flowering indoors. This is the ideal time to plant snowdrops “in the green”, to brighten your garden next Spring. Roses should be fed a special rose feed or a balanced fertilizer as they come into growth. As I wrote last month this probably your last chance to cut them right back to an outward facing bud, visualizing the shape they will grow into. Trim Winter flowering heathers to prevent them becoming “straggly”. Hellebores, cut off old leaves to remove any foliar diseases & make the flowers more visible. Dead head daffodils as the flowers finish & let the foliage die back. In the vegetable garden, sow early broad beans & peas. If your soil is not waterlogged of frozen you can plant onion, shallot & garlic sets, alternatively start them off in pots under glass. Start to direct sow seeds such as carrots, radishes & lettuce in the greenhouse borders or under cloches. Fruit; continue to plant raspberry canes, cut Autumn fruiting canes down to the ground to stimulate new growth. Remember to feed blueberry plants with an ericaceous plant fertilizer. Blackberries, cut out last year’s fruiting wood to encourage new grow for this season. Rhubarb, now is an ideal time to start off new crowns, once planted given them a good mulch, but not covering the crown. In the greenhouse start sowing your bedding plant seeds, a good point here, always bring in your compost into the greenhouse, for a week or two, to warm up before using. Re-pot orchids & other house plants before they start into active growth again. Other odd jobs around the garden; get rid of slimy patches patios & paving, scrubbing with a stiff brush or better still pressure washing. Begin weeding, weeds are more easily controlled when they are young, top dress containers removing the top 1”(25mm) of soil and replacing with fresh compost, on a final note on all this work, watering cans, we all take them for granted but it will worth the effort, if to give them a good scrub & rinse out with Jeyes fluid to prevent fungal diseases forming that may be lurking in odd corners.