Friday, 28 March 2014

Wait for Spring

  • Timely Tips March: twelfth week.continued
  • With easter being a bit later this year and a bit of mild weather too weeks ago in the UK, a lot of people have been caught out. Sowing seeds which were then frozen with frost and yesterday I was out walking a dog in a snow storm. So my message is wait until the end of the month before you start you main sowing. So keep your plants covered for the moment and do not go planting those tomato plants in the garden just yet! 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

This and that in the garden:

  • I am very it very hard right now to keep up with this blog, for many reasons.
  • Family; my son bought a house and Jean and I are painting it from top to bottom
  • My allotment; we had very bad flooding this year for the second winter running and it has left a mess
  • which I am trying to put right. This is taking a lot of time.
  • Quite soon I am off to the States to see my sisters and brother. I am going to find this hard to keep a routine of blogging going during this time.
  • So I have decide to write when and what I can until the end of may when I will be back and then take it from there.
  • We are having a bit of a chile here in the UK. there is snow and frost and a very cold wind; This is not ideal weather for growing or doing anything out there.
  • If you have a glasshouse or cold frame now is the time when they come into their own. However  if you are growing in a cold frame try and give  protection in the event of frost by throwing mats over the glass. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Timely tips mid march:

  • If the weather in your area is mild now is the time to look to prune your roses. Do the climbers on walls and hybrid perpetual bushes frist then your hybrid teas. Pruning is a great way to keep your shrubs and trees in shape, however a lot of people do not realize that pruning also helps combat diseases and will encourage plants to produce more fruit or flowers. Plants that benefit from pruning include shrubs and trees with dead or diseased stems , and those that are misshapen or have old woody growth that has stopped producing healthy leaves or fruit/blooms.
  • Do not touch your evergreens yet, that is a pruning job for april may. There is nothing to be afraid of whilst pruning. Remember, you are in charge and it is your plant. You will need to start the job by removing all dead and diseased wood and cut back old unproductive stems to the ground. Then you trim back all the remaining stems to create and even, balanced shape that is to your liking. The way to do it is to cut a stem just above a bud, which is the point where a new leaf or stem will form. The bud may be a slight bum on the stem. Where you come across buds that are opposite each other make a straight flat cut above the pair. Do not forget to remove dead flowers or bad fruit. Doing so will produce more. Remember what you want to do is to get as much air into the plant as possible.
  • If you have a cold frame, young plants can be put out into them to give you that early crop. It is a good idea to have your best compost in the cold frame to feed your crop. To my mind that is nothing like a cold frame, you will be a month ahead of everybody else. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Timely Tips March: Eleventh week

  • March is the start of one of the main sowing months. Remember, it is wise to only grow what you need and will eat. Gardens can become a right old chore when they are in full growth and if you do not have the time to tend to them, the whole effort can be a waste of time and a real burden to you in the summer. So choose wisely now as to what you sow.
  • If you have autumn fruiting raspberries, now is the time to prune them. The late raspberry only fruits on the old wood so it is quite easy to prune. Simple cut down to within an inch of the ground and give them a top dressing of compost.
  • If the weather has warm up in your area good idea to get your frist planting of potatoes in. If the tubers have not sprouted, plant them at a depth of six inches, however sprouted potatoes should be placed at least one inch deeper. Allow two feet between the rows and ten inches from tuber to tuber in the row.
  • Of course, if you have a cold frame you could get yourself weeks ahead of everybody by sowing your veg and protecting them from frost and late march winds.

  •   My beds, with the winter floods of winter behind us, now ready for potatoes. I must just wait a few more days for the subsoil to dry up a bit more.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Timely tips for your garden: week ten continued.

I am away from home at the moment, looking after a friends dog in London. Don't you hate it when you have to use a computer that you are not use to!

The first sowing of brassicas, such as summer cabbage,Brussels, kales cauliflowers and autumn broccoli, may be made now, however the sowing of savoys should not be done yet. Best to wait till the end of April. Draw shallow drills one foot  under on soil that has been worked to a fine tilth. Make sure to sow thinly, and when the seedlings are visible protect from birds.

There is still time to make a planting of eschallots, however the work should be done this week. On soils where it is difficult to grow onions from seeds, it is a good idea to use onion sets instead. Plant them 15 inches between the rows and 8 inches in the row.. If not already done, make a sowing of leeks.

I am never in too much of a hurry to sow or plant any thing at this time of the year. And this year we have not really had a winter and you might well be all fired up to go! Look and see what the trees are doing: are they in bud? Is the grass growing yet? On my plot there is still 6 inches of water, so I will not be doing anything yet.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Timely Tips March: week Ten

  • My plot as of yesterday the 1st day of march. Not a lot that I can do right now. I only hope that my asparagus does not drown! Check out Amazon pea stock
  • If you want a bit of color in your garden this year now is a good time to do something about it. Hardy annuals may be sown in the open now, however do remember that quite a lot of them do best when transplanting is not practiced. Make sure that you have a fine surface by using the rake vigorously and thinly broadcast the seeds on it. Annuals that you might think about are mignonette, larkspurs, poppies, love in the mist and eschscholtzias.
  • I love asparagus and now is the time to lay out new beds, if you so wish. This crop will last a normal lifetime so it is well to make sure you get it right.The importance of trenching, or at least double-digging the site, need not be over-emphasised. A bed of about five feet  wide is the ideal, because this will contain three rows of plants 18 inches apart. Best to allow one foot crown to crown in the row itself. This, is a long term crop so do not crop in the frist year and in the second do not crop too much. After that it is just a matter of feeding, weeding and eating.
  • If your weather is right and you soil not too wet it is now possible to make substantial sowings of peas. The bed needs to of been deeply dug and well manured. Make a drill of 10 inches wide and two inches deep. Good varieties would be: Green arrow.