Colin is Landscaper at Share Gardening, a social enterprise of Share Community, a charity based in Wandsworth that provides training and employment support for disabled adults.

Spring is in the air! Early daffodils, primroses and violets are making the most of longer, warmer days. I think we have all had enough of rain, rain and more rain but statistically March is often wetter than February…

Although even the most experienced of gardeners among us are wanting to get going in the garden, March is a little too early, the soil needs a little more time to warm to ensure that seeds germinate and there is still the chance of frost. That being said, there are still plenty of jobs to keep us occupied.

This is the month to divide and replant herbaceous perennials. Plants such as Aster, Hosta, and Iris siberica can be lifted, sliced into hand-sized pieces with either a spade or old bread knife and replanted. The older, less vigorous parts, usually towards the centre of the plant should be discarded and composted.

Shrubs such as Dogwoods and Willows that have brightened up the garden during the winter should be pruned hard to within a couple of inches of the ground to ensure strong, young growth that will produce richly coloured branches for next winter.

All the preparation, dividing and pruning undertaken in the spring will reap dividends in the coming summer. This is especially the case in the vegetable garden. A good tidy up now can significantly reduce the occurrence of pests and diseases a little later on. Slugs and snails will take advantage of any garden debris that may have remained from the autumn.

Here are a few of the principle jobs that need doing in March: Strawberries – Remove all damaged, diseased and spotted leaves, leaving only a couple of small clean leaves.

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Raspberries – Prune out the canes that produced fruit last summer – these are generally lighter in colour and snap in the hand.

Onions and Shallots – Onion sets and shallots can be planted out from mid-March. When buying sets, don’t be tempted by the larger bulbs, bigger is not better as these will often run to seed and not produce well. Small and firm onion sets will produce better onions that will keep well into next winter.

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Share Gardening provides garden maintenance and planting services. To find out more or to get a quote, contact the gardening team on telephone 020 7924 2949 or email To find out more about Share’s work, visit