Gardening Advice for March
THE VILLAGE GARDENER
Gardening Advice for March
Pam Owens of Hopkinstown gardens, Carmarthen, offers her tips for March.
- Start mowing if the ground is dry enough.
- Enjoy the early Spring bulbs.
- Put new batteries in your torch and get out after dark to catch those slugs.
- As soon as daffs start to go over remove the seed head to allow the plant to concentrate on feeding the bulb.
- Weed those borders to give yourself a head start.
Julie the village hairdresser on garden problems.
- Hair clippings put around plants are a great way to keep slugs at bay.
- Those stick on copper bands do not deter the slugs from my pots.
- Plant marigolds with tomatoes, it will help keep pests at bay.
- Garlic grown alongside roses is well known for keeping roses healthy.
- Any poor soil will be good enough to grow wildflowers in, as they don’t need much nourishment.
Help those ericaceous shrubs such as Azaleas Camellias and Peiris to flower well by putting an ericaceous compost on top of the roots and fork in. Give your roses a final prune to encourage new growth then feed them: preparatory feed is worth the cost. It is time to top dress the shrubs grown in pots by removing the top 25mm which will contain mostly pests and disease and replace with fresh compost. Gardeners World magazine has said if you’re growing a fig tree, you should keep it in a pot as this will restrict the roots which will in turn encourage fruiting.
Planting seeds early will give you a good start, but they will soon go back if you can’t keep an area warm for them. Young tomato plants will suffer if they are subjected to a cold spell, which will only show up when the plants start to come into flower. Peppers and sweetcorn need a long growing season so an early start is a must. A good tip from The Sunday Gardener, is to bring the compost in from the cold before using it. Terry Walton of BBC radio said he starts his broad beans and sweet peas off by filling a freezer bag with compost and seed then, with his wife’s permission, places them in the airing cupboard where the all-round warmth will soon promote root growth. He then transplants them into deep pots to ensure a good root system.
The Wenvoe allotments are busy with old and new plot holders working hard as the days get longer. They are sowing carrots early to try and beat the carrot root fly, some are using raised beds to avoid the pest. Whatever allotmenteers are doing it will be under the watchful eye of Herbie who will be resting on his seat against the tin sheets so as not to miss anything. Herbie recommends that you ought to grow your strawberries in hanging baskets to stop slugs ruining your crop. He would also recommend putting fresh grass clippings in a trench before filling with soil, this will keep the soil warm and encourage your seeds to germinate.
Take care and happy gardening.