Colin Evans garden tips
This week Colin offers tips on how to sow your sweet peas, reveals his plant of the week, solves your moss problems and tells us how he's just itching for the weather to improve so he can get out in his garden and busy his green fingers.
Into March and I am so desperate to get out into the garden to make the best of the few days we have had on the weather front. There is much to do to make ready for the new growing season and already the signs are here.
The Viburnum Bodnantense is in full pink flower and the shrub Honeysuckles Lonicera Purpusii are showing masses of yellow and white flowers with a most heady perfume that is drawing me away from the computer and into the garden.
The green green grass of home
I have already cut the lawns once this week, just enough to make the wonderful shaded lines that look so good from the sitting room through the French windows and cut the edges of the borders to make them stand out from the rest of the garden.
Colin's already been on the mower
The birds just love this as they can spot the worms and other soil borne creatures at a glance and will will help to rid the garden of the emerging grubs which are intent on destroying both my flowers and vegetables, so not only does the garden look good but the birds love it too.
Protecting the pond
As usual I have plans to change some area's and am working towards making the pond a little more secure for the gold fish as the Herons seem to have no fear when fresh fish is on the menu.
Last year I lost some of my finest fish to these hungry predators so this year I am going to add some extra brickwork to the sides of the pond to give the fish more protection.
The new edges will then be planted alongside with Ornamental Box Buxus Fruiticosa which will camouflage the new brickwork. Herons have a dislike of any barrier that they have to step over. Later in the year I will let you know if this works and how many fish I still have.
Help keep your fish safe.
Latest bulb news
Now, the bulbs are flourishing and are in full flower and I can see them without stepping on them I have made every effort I can to clear the borders of weeds which have been establishing themselves while the ground has been so wet.
You may think that this is a thankless task but once cleared the garden looks so much better. In my view just take time doing the boring jobs like weeding and make sure a nice cup of tea is on the go and you can't go wrong.
Colin's plant of the Month
If you want dense foliage with unusual colour at this time of the year then you can do no better than to plant a a Colorado Spruce Picea Pungens Glauca.
The plant of the month - Colorado Spruce
It's a member of the Conifer family and this variety is especially lovely. It has blue needles which grow horizontally in a tiered form. In spring the new growth is a fresh green which will turn blue during the summer months. This Conifer makes a great border plant as it's slow growing.
Sweet Peas can be sown directly into the open ground so prepare the soil by digging down about half the depth of the garden fork and incorporate some compost or leaf mould and fork in just under the soil surface.
Firm the ground and sow the seeds just below the surface a few inches apart.
A few weeks ago I reminded you that your Potatoes could be ordered ready for delivery about now.
If yours have arrived you should have prepared the soil ready for planting. Once you get your Potato tubers they should be removed from the bag and placed upright in some seed trays and stood where there is plenty of light and it's frost free.
An unheated greenhouse or shed will do. Wait about three weeks and the shoots should by then be showing and will take us well into March. By this time the tubers can be planted outside either under black polythene or as I prefer to do it with the soil mounded up.
If you have little space then planting them in dustbins or large pots will also give you a good crop.
If Moss is a problem in the lawn then get yourself some Moss killer from the garden centre.
Colin is a big fan of sweet peas
Moss is difficult to control in the Thames Valley because the air is generally very moist and has a great environment for Moss to flourish, however, if you want to clear it now's the time but follow the instruction on the packet to the letter.
Me, I am happy to let Moss grow on my lawn as I am out in the country and don't stand a chance, I just keep the lawn cut on a regular basis and this seems to work to a degree.
I would much rather spend the money on new plants rather than Moss killer.
Still everyone to his own.
last updated: 04/03/2008 at 18:02
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