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GCA

 Topical Tips for March

March is a month full of promise; the sap is rising and buds are bursting into leaf. The real gardening starts now! The weather can be one of contrasts, it can be t-shirts and sunglasses one day, anoraks and wellies the next.  Make sure you get the winter jobs out of the way before starting on new jobs that could  wait  for a while.

 

 

           

Flowers & Shrubs


Top Tip:
    Winter jobs to finish include: Cutting back last year’s perennials, finish winter pruning and sowing half hardy annuals.

Top Tip:  When your daffodils or any other spring flowering bulbs have finished flowering don’t cut them back, just remove any developing seed heads, allow the leaves to die back naturally as this will allow the food reserves in the bulbs to build up once more.

 

 

Top Tip:  This month there’s quite a lot of pruning to be done, it’s worth investing in a good pair of secateurs, a favourite amongst the staff at Sunshine are the Felco no.8, they are a beautifully balanced pair of secateurs , very sharp and comfortable to use, if you mention this article you can claim a 10% discount on a pair of Felco No. 8 (not to be used in conjunction with any other offer)

 

Now on to what you should be pruning this month, dogwoods, willows , cotinus, hardy Fuchsia and buddleia should  all be cut back hard to the base to encourage new strong growth.

 

 

Roses should also be pruned this month, aim to remove any weak or crossing branches. It is very hard to damage a plant by pruning so don’t worry, the worst thing you can do is reduce the number of flowers that  are produced – not the worst problem to have!

 


Make sure that you have pruned your Wisteria by now to ensure good flowering this year.

Top Tip: Keep those beautiful Hellebores flowering and looking good  by removing old flowers and keeping leaves clear of the blooms.

 

Top Tip: You’ll find that all keen thrifty gardeners buy herbaceous perennials  now because they are really good value being smaller plants than  those available later in the season, when they are more expensive , they soon grow into full sized plants.

 

 

 

 

  

  

Top Tip: As plants begin to grow they are like us, they need feeding, there are lots of different fertilisers available which maybe a bit confusing but really it’s quite simple ;most plants need a general fertiliser such as Miracle Gro continual release fertiliser which contains a special mix of Miracle-Gro nutrients giving beautiful, healthy plants with more blooms. Evenly balanced nutrients are ideal for flowers, fruit and vegetables - in fact everything in the garden 

It can also be used in the planting hole with new plants, as the slow release won't burn plant roots.

A special coating on the granules controls the release of plant food, so that it matches the plant’s needs. It only releases nutrients when conditions are right for plant growth and when the plants need them. This ensures that plants are not short of balanced nutrients for up to 6 months from just 1 application.

This release ensures steady, even growth – not uneven surges – which is far better for producing strong, sturdy, healthy plants that perform much better in the garden.

The release rate is controlled by soil temperature. The warmer it gets; the faster plants grow and more nutrients are released. This also ensures there is little risk of under- and overfeeding and wastage due to excessive leaching out of the soil or compost – something that can be common with un-coated solid feeds, especially in very wet or waterlogged conditions.

 

There are 3 types of controlled release fertiliser, one for general use, one for roses and shrubs and one for ericaceous plants such as rhododendrons, camellias and heathers.

 

  

Top Tip Plant summer flowering bulbs, try something different like Casmassia which has  beautiful blue or white flowers, grows in sun or partial  shade and last for ages .

Do come and see us for further advice as you may have more specific requirements for example: seaweed fertiliser or an  organic fertiliser. 

 

 

 

 

Grow Your Own

Top Tip:  Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes for a delicious home grown harvest later this year. This year try some shallots, they’re expensive in the shops but just as easy to grow as onions.

What’s the difference between onions and shallots?

Shallots have a milder taste and odour than onions, so shallots are more commonly eaten raw. However, when cooked, shallots can lose their flavour quickly, and so onions are preferable in cooked food like stir fries. Onions are also crunchier than shallots.

Onions and shallots are both bulb vegetables in the same plant family that originated from central Asia. They are both used as ingredients to flavour dishes and can be eaten on their own. 

Top Tip:  Buy young herbs in pots and plant near the back door for easy access when needed in the kitchen.

Top Tip:  Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines indoors or in a greenhouse.

Top Tip:  Keep the vegetable beds weed free now to avoid extra work later when the weeds really take hold.

 

Top Tip:   Mulch rhubarb with a thick layer of farmyard manure and dream of rhubarb crumble later in the year.

Top Tip:  Plant fruit trees such as apples pears and cherry trees now, we have family fruit trees for those with limited space which have three varieties of apple all on one tree -  brilliant!

 

   

General garden jobs

 

Top Tip:  If your lawn has started to grow give it a mow on a dry day, do the first cut with the lawn mower set to its highest.

 

Now on to what you should be pruning this month, dogwoods, willows , cotinus, hardy Fuchsia and buddleia should  all be cut back hard to the base to encourage new strong growth.

 

 

Top Tip Sorry to mention them but it’s time to think about slug (and snail control). Slug killers based on  ferric phosphate such as Growing Success Slug Killer are not harmful to pets and children(when used as directed) so try using them for an environmental angle  or use a barrier approach such as slug gel which provides a barrier that slugs don’t like to cross.

Top Tip:  Apply  residual path weed killers to control the weeds that have started to grow on paths and drives and to prevent further weed growth, we recommend Weedol Pathclear which comes as a concentrate or ready to use spray.

Top Tip:  For perennial weeds such as ground elder , nettles, thistles and dare I mention it, Japanese knotweed use a systemic weed killer which is absorbed and will kill the entire plant.

Top Tip:  If you need some turf , order same from us during the week and it will be ready for collection or delivery at the weekend £4.29per roll = 1m2.

Click below for details on laying turf:

https://www.lovethegarden.com/advice/lawn-care/seeding-repairing/how-lay-turf

 

 

Top Tip:  Keep feeding the birds! Seed, peanuts, suet balls, the birds will appreciate any or all of these   at this time of year.

 

 Have fun in your garden!

 

 

 

 

 

Top Tip:  This month there’s quite a lot of pruning to be done, it’s worth investing in a good pair of secateurs, a favourite amongst the staff at Sunshine are the Felco no.8, they are a beautifully balanced pair of secateurs , very sharp and comfortable to use, if you mention this article you can claim a 10% discount on a pair of Felco No. 8 (not to be used in conjunction with any other offer)

Top Tip: As plants begin to grow they are like us, they need feeding, there are lots of different fertilisers available which maybe a bit confusing but really it’s quite simple ;most plants need a general fertiliser such as Miracle Gro continual release fertiliser which contains a special mix of Miracle-Gro nutrients giving beautiful, healthy plants with more blooms. Evenly balanced nutrients are ideal for flowers, fruit and vegetables - in fact everything in the garden