Roger's Ramblings

March 2001

Well - we've had 'February Fill Dyke', the trouble is it followed 6 months of 'fill dyke' and the exceptionally wet weather has left the ground totally saturated and the ground must be handled with care to avoid compaction. Take advantage of night frosts to help aereate the soil, dig over and rotovate and then gently rake the top on those dry sunny days (what?) as the surface 'hazels' and looks dry. March has already shown how unpredictable it can be and in the last week we have had sun, snow, hail, rain, frost and fog! 

Those gardeners who enjoy raising their own vegetables and bedding plants will be busy sowing seeds in the greenhouse (having thoroughly cleaned and disinfected it!) ready to put plants out in May and June when protection should no longer be required.

Any lawn repairs or new areas can be prepared now - remember the quality of the preparation will dictate the end result. Carefully rake the surface to a fine tilth, removing all stones and large objects, spread seed and fertilizer evenly and rake in. On small areas cover thinly with a mix of sand and fine topsoil. Turf can be laid whenever frost is not present and this can provide a lawn more quickly than seeding.

March is really the start of Spring and a good time to be planting new shrubs, roses, perennials and trees. There is plenty of moisture in the ground (understatement!), and as the ground warms up the new plants will root quickly into the surrounding soil. Always use a good planting compost to aid root development and retain moisture during dry periods. The planting of 'field grown' or 'bare root' material will end this month so any hedges, fruit or bare root roses need purchasing as soon as possible. We are still supplying plants to customers of the Cambridgeshire County Council Trees and Woodland Schemes. This excellent scheme allows members of the public and landowners to plant new hedges, copses and woodland at a heavily subsidised rate, and even those not eligible for the scheme can buy the plants very cheaply at the present time.

Our landscaping team have just completed the planting of a new wood surrounded by native hedge. This will look magnificent in a few years time and what a legacy to leave those that follow. Currently we are building a Millennium Garden at a local primary school, designed to be a sensory garden it embraces a host of learning experiences revolving around sight, sound and touch. It's the third one we've built and great fun. We are often able to introduce many of the features into domestic gardens, particularly in childrens' areas, where they prove very popular.

Well, I have a couple of planting plans to complete now and an estimate for a Patio and Water Feature. . . . oh, and I must order more Terracotta pots for the Nursery, - busy, busy, - Spring always takes us by surprise. Have a good month and please call in with your thoughts queries and comments.

Roger

roger@gardenfixers.co.uk

 

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