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More tips from Rod Hill

Corfe Mullen Gardening Club  March / April 2015

How lucky we have been in the garden over the past months, I have noticed some frost damage to my Alpine plants on our front wall. It could be that one or two are past their sell by date and will need to be replaced. But I'm not going to be hasty I'll give them a couple of months and see if there is any life.

Some of our garden shrubs are looking good, our Camelia is out in flower and the Mahonia has given a lovely fragrance, besides Daphne Adora and the Sarcococa. I am waiting for our Magnolia Stilata to come out in flower. Of course if you have the space, a Magnolia Grandiflora could be an eye catcher. Over the winter I have had one or two shrubs repositioned where they have grown too large and gone over the grass paths.

The snowdrops and the crocuses are looking good, but when the crocuses have gone over and multiplied I must lift, dry and store until Autumn then replant to give them more room.

If you are thinking of the vegetable plot, covering some dug ground with black polythene will help to warm up the soil, ready to plant onions / shallots etc. and to prepare for sowing seeds.

This is a good time to get your local seed potatoes which can be placed on a tray in the shed to get them chitting. This year I'm going to grow a few in buckets and large pots just enough for me and the missus. I'm struggling to get down on my knees at the moment [ but I will if you really want me to. ] am thinking of doing some raised beds and also grow strawberries in hanging baskets or even place some large pots well off the ground to make life easier.

When we come round to April it will be time for using plant food especially when bulbs go over. Then the lawn will need perking up. Perennial plants such as hosta's could be split up.

Have you checked the lawn mower / hedge trimmer or strimmer and does it need a service? So, the circle of gardening goes round for another year.

Happy gardening,

From Rodders, the retired gardener.

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