March Hints and Tips

2022
March is one of the busiest months for gardeners. The days are getting longer and the soil starts to warm, but you still have to watch out for frosts. Underground, the infra-red light that penetrates below the surface triggers growth and germination.

Jobs to do

  • All beds need a mulch both to retain moisture and to suppress those annoying annual weeds that need light to germinate.
  • Remove the top 1 to 2 inches of old compost from permanent pot plants and top-dress with fresh. The old compost could be used as mulch.
  • Sow bedding plants under glass.


THE CRONDAL FLOWER, PRODUCE and CRAFT SHOW
The Show will be held in the Village Hall and Old Gym, on Saturday 30th July 2022, from 14:00 (2pm) to 16:45 (4.45pm) (prize giving at 16:30).
Teas will be provided throughout the afternoon by the Croft Café from the Church Rooms.
Admission £1 per adult, children FOC.
CrondallShow@gmail.com


In the ornamental garden

  • Dead head spent daffodils – but leave the leaves to nourish the bulbs.
  • Cut back Cornus, grown for their coloured stems, to 2-3 inches from the base because new growth has the best colour next winter. If that makes you nervous, cut a third of last year’s growth back and leave the rest until next year.
  • Cut down perennial grasses to make room for new growth.
  • Prune bush and standard roses and feed
  • Prune last season’s growth of Hydrangea panniculata to the lowest pair of strong buds – they flower on this year’s growth; but prune mop-head hydrangeas by removing dead heads back to the next pair of strong buds – they flower on last year’s growth; cut out a third of old growth at the base to encourage more stems to grow for next year’s flowers.
  • Prune Buddleia to a low framework; this will encourage the new growth that bears the flowers
  • Divide Hemerocallis, Astrantia, Hosta, Heuchera and Bergenia as new growth begins.
  • Start mowing lawns, but keep the blades high to start with.

In the kitchen garden

  • Blueberries: remove one third of the oldest stems to ground level to promote new fruiting wood. Top dress with ericaceous compost
  • Gooseberries, red and white currants: remove dead wood, then spur prune all side shoots to 1-3 buds from their base and shorten branch tips by a quarter.
  • Start planting early potatoes mid-March and onion and shallot sets.
  • Direct sow broad beans, carrots, lettuce, parsnips and peas.

    Exhibit: flowering shrubs to predominate

  • Prepare trenches for runner beans with well-rotted manure and shredded paper at the base – they do not like to dry out!
  • Start off other vegetables under glass.

Above all, keep hoeing off those annual weeds before they set seed!

Events

The Garden Society plan to hold their Spring Show and seed swap on Saturday 26th March.  The classes are listed in the handbook which can be downloaded from the website.

The trading shed should be open by then – this has been delayed by an act of vandalism which broke the door fastenings and is preventing access.

Gardens open for charity can be found at ngs.org.uk.  Many visits need to be pre-booked.