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Spring at last! After the long and hard winter, everyone is looking forward to spring. Also your garden and the plants on your balcony or terrace. In March, nature awakens from hibernation. The woody plants should be pruned so that the birds can breed undisturbed. In a few weeks, everything will be blooming beautifully again and attracting everyone outside.
Soon the lawn will start to sprout. That is why it should be fertilised. The best time is as soon as the daffodils are in full bloom. It makes sense to do this on dry days before it rains. This way the nutrients are washed into the soil. If you can't plan it that way, water the lawn extensively after fertilising. Once the lawn has been fertilised, you can mow it to normal height and scarify it two weeks later - and lime it if you want to protect it from moss. If the lawn has thinned out in places, sow new seeds now. The more intensively you use the lawn in summer, the more important lawn care is in spring. Therefore, start as early as possible.
Fertilise all early-flowering plants such as hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils or tulips, plant primroses or pansies and let flower bulbs and tubers sprout in cold frames or pots. As soon as the forsythia blossom, it is time to cut back the roses with sharp rose shears and fertilise them. You should also cut back the summer lilac, the faded shoots of the hardy heathers and the evergreen hedges now. Ornamental shrubs will soon sprout, so be sure to prune and fertilise them. Ornamental grasses should also be cut close to the ground now.
As soon as the ground is frost-free, you can plant perennials. Remember, however, that you can divide perennials that flower in spring only after flowering or in autumn. Evergreens and sensitive plants should not be transplanted too early, wait until April. If you want to transplant deciduous woody plants with fine roots such as hornbeam, privet or spirea, you should transplant them with the soil around them and water them immediately when they are put in place.
Spread the mature compost superficially in the garden in March, only 5 to 10 centimetres deep. Microorganisms and soil organisms decompose the plant residues and thus form a soil-improving humus.
The fruit trees must be pruned in March. Ventilate greenhouses and cold frames first. Spread compost on the beds and sow the first herbs, for example parsley. You should cut back lavender to about one third. Now is the time to sow early vegetables such as carrots, radishes, lettuce or onions. Chilli, peppers and tomatoes can be brought forward now. Chillies and peppers germinate for a long time, so you can sow them as early as the beginning of March and grow them indoors. With tomatoes it is better to wait until the end of March or beginning of April. If you have a strawberry bed, you should hoe the soil and cover it with non-rotted organic material (mulch).
You can make fertiliser from weeds. For example, put nettles in a container and pour in water until they are well covered and stir everything. Close the container, but not airtight, stir the fertiliser every two days and let it ferment.
If March is mild, you can already sow the first herbs directly in the open. If not, play it safe and sow your herbs first in a raised bed (see "Other gardening in March: Building a raised bed") or in a cold frame. For example, savory, dill, garden cress, chervil, parsley or chives. You should be able to plant the first native herbs outside in early April. Frost and cold-sensitive herbs such as basil, lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme or lemongrass should be grown at home in the warmth and only planted outside after the Ice Saints in May. To do this, cut back the shoots of evergreen herbs such as savory, lavender, rosemary, sage or hyssop to about a third now so that they grow bushier in spring and summer.
You have brought sensitive plants such as oleander or olive trees indoors before the first frost. At the same time as the fuchsias and geraniums in the window boxes. Now it is time to put them back on the balcony or terrace as soon as it is warm enough. You can lift large plants that were too heavy or can tolerate frost to a certain extent from the insulating polystyrene sheet. Unwrap them from the bubble wrap, jute bag or fleece and remove the brushwood around the trunk. Get the garden furniture and barbecue out of the cellar. Treat wooden furniture with wood preservative if necessary and clean the barbecue thoroughly if you forgot to do so in autumn. Take a close look at all the boards and walls, there may be damage that needs to be repaired.
Sharpen or have sharpened the lawn mower blades and the electric hedge trimmer. Get rakes, shovels and spades out of the cellar so you can clean, de-rust and grease them if you haven't already done so before wintering.
A raised bed is a raised growing area and is particularly suitable for vegetables, herbs and lettuce. The bed is filled with garden waste in layers. The top layer is a humus layer. Because the garden waste rots and composts, the soil in the raised bed is particularly rich in nutrients - and the heat that is generated during the rotting process additionally promotes the growth of the vegetables, herbs and lettuce. You can build the raised bed from bamboo, concrete elements, Euro pallets, wood, plastic, metal or stone. However, bamboo, Euro pallets or wood rot over the years. This is not so bad, however, because you would have to refill the raised bed after five to seven years anyway and could then also build a new one.
You can buy a raised bed as a kit or build one yourself relatively easily: