Fred’s Gardening Tips
Lawns and Roses in the month of March
Choose a day when the grass is dry and the weather mild. Disperse worm casts with a broom or besom. Mow with the blades set high. It is better to collect the clippings because if you leave them on the lawn they will clog the grass and cause a loss of air to the roots. Try to keep the lawn weed free. Regular close mowing of lawns restricts the natural development of the grasses. Nutrients are taken up from the soil by the grass when the mowings are collected, and to compensate for this lawns should be fed at least once annually.
The best time to apply a lawn fertiliser is in early Spring when the grass is beginning to grow freely. Best in late March. A single annual dressing of a fertiliser containing nitrogen, phosphate and potash will supply the lawn’s phosphate and potash needs for a season. Applying the fertiliser by hand. Mark out strips of about three feet wide using canes with string between. Apply the product at half the recommended rate working lengthways and repeat working crossways. Avoid overlapping as too high concentrations of fertiliser can damage the turf. You will see a great improvement in the condition of your lawn.
Pruning roses – early March
Large flowered (hybrid teas), bush roses and floribunda (multiflowered). Remove weak or dead growth first. Cut back strong healthy growths to within three or five buds of the base. Always cut above an outward facing bud. Aim for five stems on each bush. Cut the bushes to about ten inches from the ground. Do not be afraid to cut back hard – they will quickly recover in the same season and produce good flowers. There are different methods of pruning for standard roses and climbing roses. After pruning spray with a fungicide as a precaution against blackspot and mildew. Clear the ground under the roses of any old leaves as these may harbour diseases.