Tips and News

In the garden this month with Hazel King

Lawn – aerate and fertilise.

Roses – remove spent flowers to promote more blooms. Fertilise.

Fertilise citrus and place organic matter around the root zone to encourage earth worms.

Check the new foliage growth for aphids and scale insects.

Check vegetables and herbs for winter crops.

Lavenders and wormwood (Artemisia) are plants that like alkaline soil, spread lime around the roots; use dolomite lime formula if these shrubs are planted near acid loving specimens.

Sweet Peas are traditionally planted on St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March. This date should be regarded as a guide only, in fact some of the new varieties are recommended for spring planting in all climates because they are summer flowering. Add fertiliser to the soil, also a small amount of lime (see lime warning above). Try to avoid watering until seedlings appear as sweet pea seed is easily rotted. Once sweet peas start flowering pick as much as you like, if any pods start to form, this signals the plant to stop flowering and produce seeds.

Check nursery seed stands, many new varieties will be noted, also some old. Blue flowers are always popular, think Nigella.

Grow pansies for winter blooms. Look for new varieties, purplish pink Raspberry, multi-coloured Fire and white and light mauve Morpho.

Grow bulbs in pots, check garden literature for the layering method.

Buy a packet of Yates Flanders Poppies. In the Berry area seed can be sown in March, April or May. Sow direct, they do not transplant well. To establish a good thick clump, early buds can be pinched out.

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