MARCH/APRIL

Notwithstanding a few aggressive frosts we have had an extremely mild (if wet) February. 

Now that the days are getting lighter the garden is beginning to wake up and Spring is around the corner.  There is plenty to do in both the garden and the greenhouse.

 

  1. Top Dressing - In readiness for summer planting top dress your tubs (in which you had your patio roses etc.) with a blend of fish, blood and bone meal, compost and Progrow to enrich the soil for those plants going forward.  In the case of small patio roses, trim them neatly (don’t brutalise them) for vigorous spring growth.
  2. Soon it will be ready to get the dahlias/begonias/eucomis corms etc. that were stored last year from their boxes and to put them lightly covered with some compost and Progrow into trays in the greenhouse with a view to starting the rejuvenation/germination process.  In the case of dahlias, soon shoots will appear and this will be the time to take cuttings (more of this in later bulletins).  Similar action needs to be taken with chrysanthemums.
  3. Aerate the lawn - The lawn will have become compacted and indeed may still be quite damp.  If you’re lucky enough to own an aerator give the lawn a light run over with the aerator; if not take a standard garden fork and make holes at 4 inch intervals across the lawn.  Give it a bit of a top dressing with some enriched Progrow, compost and fish, blood and bone meal to feed the lawn roots going forward in readiness for regular mowing later.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, clean up the borders in your garden and tidy your ponds.  Cut out all dead growth and deciduous grasses to encourage vigorous spring growth.  Give the borders (not the pond!) a nice dressing with top soil.
  5. Hunt out pests - Slugs and other pests can wreck your summer garden.  Look at the crowns of your perennial plants (delphiniums etc.) and hunt out colonies of weevils and larvae as much as possible.  This will save a lot of angst later.  If you want to make any major moves in your garden, now is the time to do so.  Choose a still day and don’t let the roots, under any circumstances, dry out.  Be careful when moving anything, to give the root ball a wide berth.
  6. Clean your garden tools - Clean garden tools stop the spread of infection around the garden and prevent the transfer of bacteria.
  7. Start planting early seeds.  Don’t be wooed by lots of pretty pictures.  Choose plants which will suit your garden and don’t choose too many, otherwise you will have a crisis of space in your greenhouse later.  Make a nice fine seed mix and don’t plant the seeds too deep.  They wouldn’t be too deep in the natural world and so cover them lightly on the top and be ready to pot them on at the appropriate time before they become too leggy.

Happy gardening!

Robert Hunt.