Friday, 10 March 2017

March Garden Ramblings

Wowsers, what a cold and snowy, soggy start to this month!

So many garden tasks to do this month, and yet, not much we can actually do outside ... precisely because of the cold and wet weather.

Remember rule number one! Never muck about in wet soil! If  you walk on wet soil, dig in it, plant in it, turn it, or otherwise muck about with it, your soil will compact into useless cement!

Wait till the snow is gone and the soil has dried up a bit before you start planting or cleaning up your beds.

Till then, lots you can do to keep busy instead...

Pick up some potting soil

Clean up the greenhouse and get it ready for planting. Take down your poly or bubble wrap insulation, sweep, wash and clean the floors, wipe off any surfaces that may harbour pests or disease.

Pick up some soil-less potting mix for starting your seeds, cuttings, pots and planters. Use a high porosity mix that offers great drainage, room for seedling roots to spread and grow, plus most importantly, to prevent damping off.

Order dahlias, cannas and calla lilies, too. Pot them up now for earlier blooms in the garden this summer.

Pot up some culinary herbs for beside the patio door, snip as needed for a taste of freshness in your spring meals.

Time to start seedlings... 

Start some seedlings inside. Which ones to start now?

- Brassicas - cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale
- Greens - lettuce, spinach, mustards, arugula, oriental greens
- Onions, leeks, chives
- Tomatoes and peppers
- Peas and sweet peas

Pot up your spring planters ...

Make or buy a new compost bin or tumbler when they go on sale this spring, as they tend to do, to turn your garden waste in to garden gold.

The tumbler type of composters work the fastest, and are rodent free, as well ... as long as you tumble it ; ) 

Feed your fruiting shrubs ... 

Feed your fruiting shrubs, fruit trees, roses, perennials, plus ornamental trees and shrubs, too.

Fill your wheelbarrow with some manure (or compost), add lots of shredded leaves, pine needles, leaf mould (I rake up the goodies from the 'floor of my wee wooded area'), add a couple handfuls of blood meal for nitrogen and bonemeal for phosphorous. Shovel this organic goodness around your blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and the fruit trees, too. Everything!

That is it, so easy to organically feed your trees and shrubs.

Feed your garden beds, too. 

If you did not feed your gardens in fall, now is the perfect time to top dress your potager with manure or compost. Push in and around your perennial veggies and herbs. 

Prune fruit trees and roses before they leaf out, while you can still see the 'framework'.

Find out how your soil stacks up... 
and what to amend with for better results this season. 

Less than happy with last years garden results but not sure what to add this year so that you get the results you are looking for? Do a simple soil test.

Try something new this year... plant all kinds of great colourful veggies... like these Purple Podded Peas! 
This is what garden plans look like on Pinterest....

This is what mine look like, hahaha ...  

Planning and plotting your garden beds. 

Plot out your garden plans in whatever fashion works best for you, whether that is pen and paper or an on-line app.

I love paper and pen, and will save these plans, thoughts and ideas from year to year.   

When planning out your garden, be realistic about the time that you want to spend in the garden and the space you have to work with. Plan for the kind of garden and life style that you want to have.

I love to garden and am a poor traveler, nothing I like better than backyard holidays and yard puttering!

Happy Spring Gardening ! 

Moving Thyme

Sadly, the Nitty Gritty Potager blog is no more... but the good news is that I can now be found at my new blog called the Olde Thyme F...