Published: 21 March 2014
Ed's March Checklist
With the weather improving by the day the list of things we are now able to get on with is also growing well!


Lawn Care

If the ground conditions are not to wet where you are and the grass is starting to look ragged, you can begin mowing by setting your lawn mower on a higher cut, this will help to keep the lawn area looking tidy and by doing this, the lawn area should not go to yellow in colour. 
 
Other lawn jobs this month are using a springbok rake to remove dead grass and thatch, which has built up around the base of the grass. If the lawn area has got moss in it apply a moss killer  which you can buy from any good garden centre, spread it over the lawn area following all of the makers instructions wait for it to turn black and rake it off. If like me, you do not like using chemicals, just rake out the worst and live with what is left.
 

Growing Your Own Crops

Plant out onion sets, I find a good way to start these off is in module trays. They can be kept under cover while they start to grow, this helps to give them protection from the weather, they will also develop good strong roots ready for when they are to be planted out into their final position. I find this method causes less root disturbance and gives them a very good start.
 
Sow courgette and marrow seeds with some gentle heat and continue to sow onions, lettuce, summer cabbage and radishes.
 
Harden off any early vegetable seedlings, which you may have in the cold frame by opening up the lid a little bit every day, but remember to close overnight just in case there is a frost.
 
Pot up and grow on both chilli and sweet peppers in the greenhouse.
 
Plant out your tomatoes and cucumbers in pots or grow bags in the greenhouse, put in your canes and string for supporting them from the start, this will make it easier to tie them in as they grow.
 
Start planting out early potatoes and earth them up as required to protect them against frost.
 
Start planting out your leeks and brassicas into position on the plot.
 
Do not forget to put in place some protection around the carrots on the plot to help protect them against carrot fly attack. 
 
If like me, you have any briar fruits growing, now is a good time to start tying in new growth as they develop.
Give your rhubarb crowns a mulch with some good well-rotted horse manure or garden compost.
 
If like me, you have strawberries growing in rows a crossed the plot, give them a feed and lay some fresh straw underneath the developing and ripening fruits.
 
Nearer the end of this month think about sowing your swede seeds.
 

The Flower Garden

Prune roses down to the third outward facing bud; give them a top dressing of fish, blood and bone ready for the growing season.
 
Check over fuchsias that have been over wintered, cutback any old growth, start giving them a little water to bring them into life.
 
Start sowing begonias and geraniums with bottom heat or in a heated propagator.
 
Sow sweet pea seeds, plant out any that you may have grown in the autumn or early January.
 
Plant out dahlia tubers in pots or their planting position in the garden; prepare the planting hole with some garden compost to give the dahlias the best possible start.
 
Thin out and transplant seedlings as and when they are ready. Continue to remove all weeds as they grow, to keep borders and beds tidy. Keep checking and watering new plantings to make sure they do not dry out and keep checking the vents on the propagator to make sure there is always good ventilation around all your young seedlings.
Reported by Ed Gent  
   
 

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