Cruella (my wife) is still at our English house so things are relatively quiet round here. I have been happily gardening away in the lovely weather we are having at the moment and I am pleased to say that no major accidents have befallen me yet. However, I write from a locked down village where everything has been closed due to the coronavirus and we are not allowed to fraternise. I am even wearing a mask and my gardening gloves to bed. I feel Cruella may have had a hand in all of this.
12th March. Things I have been doing lately:
Beginning to feed plants. Now is the time when you can selectively begin to feed some plants. However, it is important that you do not over feed or you will just get soft leafy weak foliage. Instead, now is the time for an initial plant snack. Remember, like people you need to give the right food to the right plant. You wouldn’t give a baby steak, nor would you give an adult baby food; and the same applies for plants they need the right food at the right time. The photo below shows some of the range of plant foods that I use.
From the left:
- A general universal feed, don’t feed this till plants are growing strongly roundabout the end of April.
- A liquid citrus feed this should be a follow on top up food for Orange and Lemon trees a month or so after the granulated food.
- A slow release granulated citrus feed; you should give your trees a generous handful of this now whilst the trees are in blossom.
- A slow release granulated feed for non citrus fruit trees you should feed this to now to Figs, Persimmon etc.
- A liquid feed for non citrus fruit trees this should be given a month or so from now after the granulated food.
- Rose feed give each of your Rose bushes a generous handful now.
- Baked beans best eaten cold from the tin whilst standing around at night in your pants and vest.
When giving the granulated feeds make sure you water them in straight away. When feeding your citrus trees water in the granulated slow release food then cover the surface under the tree with compost from your compost bin, or, if necessary buy some from a shop.
Overseeing Palm pruning. Now is the time to get your palms trimmed so that the pruning cut can heal before the dreaded Palm Weevil is about. Note that I say overseeing. Please don’t try to prune or cut Palms yourself, it is a professional and dangerous job so make sure that you get a qualified professional. Don’t employ amateurs with chain saws, this is not how you prune Palms. The photo below shows some of my Palm trees nicely and professionally trimmed.
Taking cuttings. A side benefit of my annual palm tree pruning is that as the fronds are cut and thrown to the ground so they occasionally bash bits off plants. This can’t be helped, and I am quite forgiving. But, it does leave you with a number of potential succulent cuttings. All you have to do is collect them up, trim the stem neatly with a knife, then pull all the leaves off the stem apart from a few at the top. Then just pop them in prepared pots with a good free draining compost. In a month or so you will have a new selection of succulents for your garden, or to give to friends. Only do this with succulents at the moment as it is too early for general cuttings. The first photo below shows my cuttings production line in action. Whilst the second shows all my new little plants. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Undertaking some general maintenance. Whilst plants are obviously the most important part of your garden, don’t forget that walls, paths, water features and other hard landscaping forms the framework for you to display your plants. Now is the best time to undertake any maintenance and repainting. Most plants will not have started vigorous growth and you can get access to everything. The photo below shows some of my handiwork painting the top of my front wall.