Start planting now for tasty spring veg

EARLY spring sees the welcome return of snowdrops and early daffodils.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th February 2012, 1:32 pm

There is also the exciting continuation of the extremely well-received Luton Hoo Walled Garden Master Classes with London horticulturalist Joan Scanlon.

Become confident in naming the flowers and trees growing in your garden with ‘Identifying Plants: Tricks of the Trade’ on March 2. Free up more of your time by reducing or even preventing weeds with ‘How to Deal with Weeds’ on March 9. ‘Seed Propagation’ is on 16th and ‘Vegetable Growing’ on March 23. Places are very limited, so book early – details are below.

If you have some indoor space, either a cool greenhouse or a sunny window sill, you can sow lettuce, radish, broad beans, beetroot, and pea seeds, while the soil outside is prepared for vegetables to be sown outside in the next few months.

The sooner you begin with seeds that can usually cope with an early start, the sooner you’ll get veg on the table – that’s the theory; but sometimes the weather causes the seedlings to grow at the same rate as later sowings or unseasonal cold next month kills of the little plants. Risky, but worth it!

With spring around the corner it’s a great time to plant bare-rooted deciduous trees and shrubs; they’ll get the rain this time of year but the early sun too, and hopefully not too much cold weather to get through. The shrubs you already have and that are overgrown can be pruned into a better shape this month, before the birds get energetic in March and decide to nest in them – you could put up a nesting box instead.

Jasmine, buddleia, and any clematis that flowered late summer can be pruned now too, and it’s really the last month you can prune your apple and pear trees. These fruit trees would also appreciate some fertiliser. The sort needed is a one with a high potash content. Clear the area round the base of the tree of debris and any weeds. Apply the fertiliser and then put a mulch of well-rooted manure or garden compost on top.

Of course March is going to be, hopefully, the start of the spring rush in the garden so make sure you have enough pots, compost, and all the seeds you want!

For information or to book on Joan Scanlon’s Master Classes, or for information on open days and volunteering opportunities: call 01582 879089, email [email protected], or go to www.lhwg.org.uk

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