March In The Garden

Well we have made it through the winter, one that gave us some prolonged cold snaps, a fair dousing of rain and a couple of very windy days and also Snow.  The good news Spring is now here! the clocks will spring forward soon, and you will gain those extra few minutes of sunshine every day. More importantly the temperature will creep up slowly, your grass will start to green up, the Daffodils will bring an early splash of colour to the garden. You will see your fruit trees throwing out their blooms to entice the insects into pollinating their flowers for your hopefully bumper crop this year. Unfortunately, with all these things growing and springing to life, are old friend weeds will also start their yearly attack on our gardens so hoe at the ready. And along with slugs and snails stirring to life the greenery won’t have much rest bite so keep vigilant. Some of my favroite parts of an early spring is watching the leaves on trees slowly unfurling, to the carpet of blooms on a flowering Cherry, or birds busily going about their nest building. In the borders, be careful if you’re raking or hoeing as many bulbs and herbaceous plants will start to poke through this time of year and you don’t want to slice them in half

 

Jobs to Do

Give any potted plants a good feed and top dress with fresh compost

Keep up hoeing any weeds off as soon as they appear

Use Cloches or Fleece to warm the soil ready for some early sowing

You can sow Carrots, Lettuce and Radishes direct now

Plant up any chitted First Early Potatoes towards late March/early April

If you have grown any green manures dig them in now

Plant Asparagus crowns now they will bring years of spears

Watch out for slugs their favroite snack is fresh soft green leaves

Enjoy the first flushes of colour from your Daffodils and snowdrops

Use a bucket to force tender stems for your Rhubarb

 

 

Down the Plot

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse in your garden or on the allotment you can start some early sowings now to get a head start on the veg plot. Good early candidates for greenhouse sowing are Lettuce, many of the Brassica family and one of my favourite Peas. In the last few years I’ve started my peas off in lengths of guttering filled with compost! The reason I use guttering is as it’s a good way of getting the peas going and even easier way of transplanting them into the ground. The biggest setback for any seed is to have its roots disturbed with the guttering you dig a similar sized trench wherever they are going to stay, and the beauty of the gutter method is you just gently tip the guttering up and slide your lovely row of Peas straight . into their new home without any (or very little) root disturbance. Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Peppers will benefit from an early start in a warm safe environment, and some Carrots can be sown outside with a bit of protection from a cloche. Lastly If you have been growing some green manures over the winter to help keep the nutrients from being washed away, now is the time to cut/strim them down and leave them lying where they fall for a few days, and then get digging/rotovating them into the ground to so they can improve the structure of the soil and deliver some goodness back to the soil. For all you veg fans out there

 

That’s all for now and remember enjoy your garden

Dan

@thevillagegrape                                                                                                 www.thevillagegrapevine.co.uk

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