18 Mar 2016

Spring gardening in Balmy weather

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

Balmy March weather has inspired spontaneity in my other half to do some spring gardening. Whilst I am all for getting out and about on these glorious sunny days, I don’t want to rush into doing things too early in the garden.

Spring Gardening

In the glasshouses and poly-tunnels at the Botanic Garden it is a frenzy of sowing. We are blessed with good facilities for sowing undercover and on heat.

Don’t be Hasty

Back at the homestead I rely on our underfloor heating and sunny windowsills. These limited facilities solicit a laid back approach to gardening at home. I maintain a don’t be hasty attitude that Treebeard would be proud of.

At NBGW in the Growing the Future Garden is a demonstration of what is possible in an average domestic garden. We try to display examples of what people can achieve at home with limited facilities. I’m tempted by the potatoes chitting in the Gardener’s potting shed. But I know if I plant them too early, new growth that emerges from the soil could get damage by frost in late April or May. I distract myself by finishing pruning the fruit in the garden.

Joanne is chitting parsnip seed in a tub in the poly-tunnel ready to sow up on the Botanic Garden Produce Plot. Joanne needs a steady continual supply of produce for Y Pot Blodyn. In the Growing the Future Garden I don’t have that pressure. The beds are snug under a mulch of composted hay. I prefer to wait until mid April to sow our parsnips.

High Stakes

Spring is a great time to put in stakes and supports in your garden. Whether you are supporting vegetables, fruit or ornamental plants, its best to get the supports in early. At the Garden we like to use natural materials that we grow on the estate. Hazel Coryllus avellana makes excellent sturdy bean poles and nests for perennials to grow through. Bright stems of dogwood Cornus sp. make attractive pea sticks and are best cut in late March to mid April. Willow Salix sp. is very flexible and great for making plant supports.