March is almost upon us, meaning you’ve survived yet another winter and can look forward to more daylight, less cold, and hopefully a good bit of sunshine. It also means it’s time to start preparing the garden for the growing season, which typically begins around March and will last all the way until late autumn.
Winter has probably left its impact on your garden, with all kinds of weeds appearing while most of your plants and flowers die off. Your lawn has remained dormant during the winter but will have a host of issues to deal with, mainly excessive weed and moss growth, along with things like patches and disease.
March marks the beginning of lawn maintenance for the year. Most of the month involves dealing with the effects of winter such as weeding and removing moss, while you also need to start mowing and may need to address a few other issues.
Let’s get started with lawn care in March!
The First Mowing of the Year
Now, some people in warmer parts of the country may have the chance for a light mow during January, which was a lot milder than usual. In any case, we won’t be quite in full growing season so a mild mowing is all that is needed. If possible use a good manual push mower for the first mow as it will be more gentle on the grass blades.
If using a standard rotary cordless, electric or petrol mower keep the blade height on one of the higher settings just to remove a short amount from the top. Remember- never remove more than one third the total length of the grass at one time!
You can also take the time to check over the mower and complete any maintenance it might need like sharpening the blade or changing the oil if using a petrol mower.
Fertiliser is not usually added to a lawn until around April time, and because the weather and March can be unpredictable it may still be too cold to feed the lawn. However, if March is mild you may want to consider some early fertilising.
Another option is to use certain lawn treatments that encourage more vibrancy without excessive growth, such as a lawn hardener, which helps grass fight off disease, increase its greenness, and kill off any moss.
If you use weed killer on the lawn then hold off until April or preferably May. You can manually weed though, with celandine and woodrush being the two main offenders for this time of the year. Dig them out as it’s the only way to remove the weed entirely.
Other than that, there won’t be much weeding for March!
Moss control treatments can be used this month but only if the weather isn’t too cold. The lawn needs to be growing to recover in time, so hold off if March is on the colder side. If it is mild, make sure temperatures remain steady for several weeks!
Weather permitting, you want to use a ferrous sulphate moss killer, which can be applied shortly after you mow the lawn for the first time. Doing so allows you to leave mowing for several weeks while the treatment gets to work.
Once the moss has died off you can rake out any of the dead debris, which may lead to some patches appearing across the lawn. If so, simply loosen the soil up with a fork, add some grass seeds, and then tread. Add some fertiliser or multi purpose compost to help it grow over the month!
Also, it’s worth noting that you can just rake the moss without using a treatment, although it does make the process a bit tougher. Using a killer and then raking the moss is the most effective method, so consider this if you find a lot of moss growing after winter.
It’s a good idea to aerate the lawn after winter, which reduces soil compaction and allows water, air, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil. You can do this with a fork or an aerator tool with hollow tines, aerating the entire surface area around mid-March.
Lawn Aerator Shoes make this process quick and easy, so if you want a simple but effective tool for aerating the lawn consider these. You strap them to your shoes and simply walk over the entire lawn while lots of spikes dig into the soil, aerating as you move.