Five Garden Jobs for March

March is often the first month that really feels like Spring.  It brings the equinox (20th March, when day and night length are the same), we switch to Summer Time (27th March) and we gain almost two hours of daylight over the month, as sunrise and sunset times extend. So we tend to enter our gardens with renewed enthusiasm, hopeful that the worst of the weather is behind us and eager to see what’s started to grow.  Here’s our round-up of key jobs this month.


compost heap

Well done if you have managed to hold off clearing up your garden until now! You probably can’t see them, but there will be many beneficial insects sheltering amongst the seed heads and foliage that you’ve been good enough to leave them.  It’s generally recommended that you don’t do a big tidy until daytime temperatures are regularly 10’C (50’F) or more, so that all those insects aren’t made homeless in the cold weather.

Clear out and compost old foliage and stems around the garden, ready for the new growth to appear. Don’t forget to remove newly germinated weeds, too, before they get too big.  And, if you can, mulch your newly cleared beds and borders with a generous layer of compost to help retain moisture and suppress further weed growth.

March is a good time to do some general lawn maintenance.  Give it a light mow, a good raking and repair any patches.  Find our lawncare calendar here and our tips on how to repair lawn patches here.

Open upgreenhouse

As the days lengthen, now is the time to think about letting more light into your greenhouse.  If you’ve added extra insulation (like bubble wrap) for the winter, you can remove it now.  It’s also a good time to clean all the windows, inside and out, to maximise the light and get rid of any hidden bugs.  Please don’t use chemical cleaners, though; a solution of hot, soapy water is generally good enough but household ingredients like white vinegar, lemon juice and tea tree oil can give an antibacterial boost.  (We found this great selection of homemade cleaners on the Good Housekeeping website that we think would be worth a try.)

As well as light, think about letting more air into your greenhouse, potting shed or cold frame too.  Opening doors, windows and vents on sunny days helps prevent a build up of humidity that may encourage moulds and mildews.

Dead headdead head

As your daffodils and other spring bulbs go over, pinch off the spent flower heads but leave the foliage to die back naturally.  It’s the sunlight that the leaves take in now that will send energy back into the bulb ready for a good showing next year.  Cutting off the stems and leaves might look tidier, but it will almost certainly mean you have poorer displays next spring.

Deadheading any winter or spring bedding plants will help to keep them flowering a little longer, too.  And it’s not too late to prune roses if you haven’t had the chance yet.  (Refer to this handy RHS pruning guide for advice on your particular type of rose.)

Sowsow seeds

Although some seeds will germinate earlier, especially indoors, March is really the month when seed sowing begins in earnest.  Indoors, you can start most annual summer plants (like black-eyed Susan or cosmos), salad crops destined for the greenhouse (tomatoes, chillies, aubergines) and even get a head start on crops that will eventually go in your vegetable plot (lettuce, parsley and runner beans, for example).

If you’re keen to start sowing outside, you can help your soil to warm up by placing cloches or glass over it.  Crops like parsnips are slow to germinate and need a long growing season so get them in the ground now. Other hardy veg, like spinach, can be sown outside too, although you might want to cover them with fleece or a cloche until they get established.  If you’re sowing carrots in the ground, you’ll want to protect them too, but more from carrot root fly than the weather!  (These Gardeners’ World tips on avoiding carrot root fly are invaluable.)

Find our general tips on sowing seeds here and our seed sowing calendars for flowers, herbs and vegetables here.

Take cuttings


As perennial plants – like lupins and dahlias – start bursting into life again, now can be a good time to take cuttings from them.  Select a healthy young shoot (what we’d call ‘softwood’ because it’s still flexible) that doesn’t look like it will carry a flower head and is between 5-10cms long (2-4 inches).  With a clean and very sharp knife or secateurs, cut the shoot from the main plant, preferably close under a node or leaf joint.  As soon as you can, remove most of the leaves and push the shoot straight into a pot of moist but free-draining compost.  If you can’t plant it immediately, seal the cutting in a plastic bag to prevent it loosing moisture until you can plant it. 

Set the pot somewhere sheltered and keep it moist but not saturated (as your cutting will just rot).  When you can see roots at the bottom of the pot and signs of new growth at the top, you know you’ve been successful and you can pot on your ‘baby’ plant.  Of course, some plants will naturally take longer than others to ‘take’ so don’t give up too soon!

Some gardeners choose to dip the end of their cutting into rooting hormone (auxin) before sticking. Rooting powders also contain fungicides which inhibit basal rot. This can help cuttings take but is never a guarantee.  Picking healthy shoots during their spring growth ‘spurt’ and planting them quickly is the key.

Before things really start growing, March can be a good time to divide herbaceous perennials or clumps of grasses.  Our tips on how to do that are here.




N. Haggard 20 September 2022

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how delighted I am with my new garden.

Jon, my designer, listened to my ideas and delivered on everything I asked for. I wanted something different to any garden I’d had before, no lawn, no landscaping but packed with plants. He designed such a lovely secret garden, around a statement tree. And I have to commend him for his unwavering patience! I changed my mind a hundred times but never did he give me the impression that he was losing patience with my endless indecision. And my confidence in him led me to place an order for over £10k.

My landscaping team, Blade and Tony, were exceptional, from their work ethic, skill and knowledge, to the way they dealt with me, the customer. My standards are very high and I couldn’t fault them.

All in all, a very professional team of people. And it showed that they all care. I’m over the moon with the finished result. I will send you a before and after photo. Thank you so much.

A delighted customer.

G. Gray. May 2022

My front garden has been transformed by Andy and Bradley who both worked incredibly hard and I am delighted with the result. Andy had the vision and skill to turn my idea into reality and I can't thank him enough.

C. Haig Sept 2021

We recently had our garden landscaped by Hambrooks and I just wanted to pass on my thanks, not just for the outcome - which is superb - but for the professionalism of all the staff involved on the job who are all a credit to you company. Mike, Dave, Les and Adam.

H. Sharp Sept 2021

I just wanted to let you know how delighted I am with my new garden. Melanie was a delight to work with and the ideas she had have worked perfectly. Also Sheldon laid the patio beautifully and him and Dave were a pleaseure to have at my house. Quiet workers and polite.

B. Rendell April 2021

I would like to say how delighted we are with the work carried out. Mel, Paul and Tony all worked very hard, they totally took on board the specific need relating to safety as well as the general garden issues. Paul and Tony were excellent at consulting and discussing with me what I felt best in terms of the brief and adjusting if and as necessary, constantly pleasant and polite to deal with. Mel had picked up on particular issues from the first consultation and offered valuable advice. The outcome means a great deal less worry for me going forward.
Altogether a very positive experience and outcome which I would not hesitate to recommend to others.

Stephen March 2021

Dom and Adam's work (garden maintenance) is greatly appreciated. Dom really listened to everything we discussed very carefully and went out of his way to understand and then act upon that discussion. We are extremely pleased with the work done - both to the pond and pyracantha.


We have been coming to Hambrooks for years and it's our favourite garden centre because of its friendly helpful staff and a great selection of plants and trees and the garden design ideas.

“We wanted to write and say how pleased we are with our low maintenance garden makeover. We are very impressed with the attitude of your staff who were prepared to listen to our requirements. Your team John and Rick brushed up and left everything tidy at the end of the day. We now have a garden we can manage and it looks great. THANK YOU HAMBROOKS.”

Mr & Mrs Venables, Southampton. April 2019

“Dear Josh & Mike We just want to say you both did a brilliant job of designing our garden along with the guys who did the work who were amazing. A few weeks on its looks even better now some of the plants are blooming. Thank you!!”

Mr & Mrs Gazzard, Winchester July 2019

“To James, John & Rikki. Thank you so much, we are delighted with our new garden. We really appreciate the attention to detail, the high quality workmanship and the standard of the finished project. We are amazed at how John & Rikki resolved the difficulties of the site and by the quality of their craftmanship. It was a pleasure to work with them and thank you for making our ideas into something we will enjoy for years to come.”