1 Mar 2011

Garden Notes: March

 Here is the next set of my Garden notes..for the other sets click 'Label below and scroll down.

March Notes

Sow seeds undercover - use old guttering for peas and beans then when the plants are large enough they can be slid out as a complete row into prepared soil with no root disturbance - cucumbers and tomatoes can be sown in propagators or on warm windowsills

Complete planting of bare-rooted trees; plant out evergreen shrubs, perennial herbs and herbaceous plants - divide any herbaceous perennials

Dig perennial weeds like ground elder and docks out by hand - hoe others as this will also expose young slugs and slugs eggs to birds and the frost

Prepare beds for summer crops - digging in the dark reduces weed seed germination induced by light exposure! Make outside sowings like parsnips and beetroot if soil is warm enough, but avoid ‘pasty’ soil - plant early potatoes if you can protect tops from frost (chit on window sill first - see photo)

Put barley straw in ponds to inhibit algae growth

Lift any remaining leeks and heel them in a shady corner to prevent new growth - leave several for seed saving and their wonderful flower heads

Rake out old thatch from the lawn and if it’s dry and starting to grow cut it - remove any mowings from the lawn early in the season

Leave bulbs alone - dying down naturally is what they like best - if messy foliage offends hide with late-emerging ground cover - snowdrops can now be split and transplanted - leave their dead flower-heads to seed

Ensure ventilation to cloches on sunny days to prevent scorching

Prune roses and hard prune dogwoods and willows grown for their colourful stems - it’s also the last chance to prune apples, pears and soft fruits

Daffodils - dead-head after flowering

Sow broad beans as soon as soil is workable

Deter slugs and snails from susceptible crops with lime, soot or calcified seaweed

Put down tiles and grapefruit halves - in the mornings remove any slug

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