RHS Top Tips For This Month
RHS top tips for this month.
- Divide perennials.
- Prune bush and climbing roses.
- Top dress containers with new compost.
4 Start feeding the fish and switch on the pumps.
- Mow the lawns on dry days.
Environment team top five for March
- Be careful of late frosts.
- Try to resist buying overpriced small plants at garden centres.
- Get early potatoes in.
- Please refrain from using the best house scissors to cut back plants.
- Add a bit of lime to your soil.
Buying very small plants at premium prices at this time of year can result in a lot of work trying to bring them on. Watering, feeding, potting on as well as frost protection. Then off to the garden centre to purchase bigger plants later, if your efforts fail.
I have mentioned before in this column about the benefits of adding lime to the soil. The soil in and around Wenvoe has a lot of clay in it. Putting lime on the garden will make the clay friable which in turn will enable the soil to hold on to nutrients whilst raising the Ph level. Just be aware that you must keep lime away from your acid loving plants such as Azaleas and Camellias.
Plants in tubs and containers need the top layer of compost replaced now as this layer will be harbouring all manner of pests and diseases harmful to your plants. Do not put the waste material on to the garden until it has been composted.
Make sure you finish cutting back the roses this month. You can be quite severe in this task as this will encourage a growth spurt. A lot of the plants in the garden will be showing signs of new life so be on the lookout for increased slug activity or the new shoots we have been looking forward to seeing will be decimated. Summer flowering bulbs such as gladioli, lilies and agapanthus, can be planted now. Plant up dahlias in pots to give them a good start and plant out after the last frosts. Vegetable gardens will be a hive of activity now with shallots. onion sets and early potatoes being planted out. Too early for kidney bean plants yet. I have found that, even when you plant the beans a few weeks apart, as soon as the sun warms the ground they catch up with the earlier ones.
We will be holding a Spring Plant Sale and Cafe in the Church Hall from noon till 4pm on Saturday the 2nd of May. Local crafts people will once again be present and amongst them will be Llinos Metcalfe, who will, probably, have the best strawberry plants for sale this side of Offas Dyke. There will also be the usual raffle, proceeds from which are to be donated to the Royal British Legion to tie in with our celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day the following weekend. Next month sees the return of Gardeners Question Time hosted by Library volunteers. This will take place in the Community Centre where the panel will include global plants woman Joyce Hoy and the irrepressible, and most knowledgeable of Welshmen, Gordon Jones. Hope to see you there.
Take care and happy gardening
THE VILLAGE GARDENER