Garden Life-March

Hucknall U3A Garden Interest Group
Frosts can still be a hazard, so keep vulnerable plants protected at night
if frost is forecast. March windscreen also notorious for their ferocity so
check that exposed plants are well supported.
Now is the time for a thorough Spring clean so weed and dig over borders
incorporating as much organic matter as you can – those chilly winds will
really help to dry out the soil. Mulch the soil once you have done the work
and remove moss and weeds from paths, patios and driveways. They may be
boring tasks but if you don’t get on top of the garden now in March it will
be a nightmare for the rest of the season.
Make new beds and borders – Mark the shape with sand trickled from a bottle,
remove the top layer of growing vegetation and dig the ground over,
incorporating as much organic matter as possible. If you are making a bed in
the lawn, remove the turf and stack it upside down somewhere out of the
way – after a year or two it will rot down into fantastic compost.
Alternatively chop it up and bury upside down in the planting hole a goods
spades depth down. Beware that if you just dig it in it will grow forever.
Clean and repair your garden tools, book the lawn mower in for a service and
check garden furniture for any rot. When it is warm enough treat sheds,
fences and trellis with a wood preservative; brushes and rollers are fine
for most things, however a sprayer is well worth buying for tricky projects
such as woven panels.
Do keep on feeding the birds as they become accustomed to regular foods in
the same place each day.
Plant and move evergreen shrubs, conifers and trees and remember to water
them well until firmly rooted. Plant evergreen hedges such as laurel, yew
and box and again keep well watered during dry spells. a really good soak
once a week is better than surface watering on a regular basis.
Feed woody plants with general purpose fertiliser. This applies to roses,
trees, climbers, hedges and shrubs.
Feed acid loving plants such as camellias and rhododendrons with ericaceous
feed if you are on neutral or alkaline soil. A dose of sequestered iron also
helps prevent leaves turning yellow.
Finish pruning your roses and start spraying them with fungicide to ward
against black spot and mildew. Repeat every fortnight until the Autumn.
Remember that if an infection sets in, all the stricken leaves must be
burnt. Do not leave them on the compost heap as this will become the perfect
incubation site
Prune hydrangeas- do not remove stems with a bud at the top, but snip off
old stems bearing deadheads to just above the topmost healthy bud and remove
weak shoots altogether from the base.
Alan Snape 07940146542

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