Welcome back to the beginning of the growing season. As the climate varies from area to area and changes every year it is important to take the lead from your garden and local surroundings as to when it is best to begin. Here at La Metairie everything in the garden is waking up, having already enjoyed the brilliance of the early bulbs, snow drops, daffodils and crocuses, we are now rising to glorious sunshine and our excitement grows along with the garden. Richard and I are already in full swing now at the nursery, March and April being the best months of the year for growing, sowing and discovering.
In the polytunnel we are still sowing the annual seeds and are now eagerly watching and waiting daily for those little green shoots to appear. In the meantime we are progressing through the forest of weeds to discover how the garden has faired through the winter. This is very therapeutic to us and good for the garden too as it helps break up the soil and introduce air to allow the plants to get a good start. The perennials are starting to come back now and new growth of the Penstemons is poking up from the bottom so I’m gradually trimming them back to allow for this year’s growth.
It is a good time now to divide and move perennials and to sow seeds for this year’s colour. Be sure to wait for the last frosts before planting out tender perennials and border annuals though. As we have just arrived in spring much of our time is spent cleaning and weeding ready for the frantic planting when the soil warms sufficiently. Roses should be pruned now ready for this year’s flowers. April sees the beginning of the lawn being mowed regularly. Lawn feed and weed treatment should be done also. Pricking out of seedlings and potting up will start now too in the polytunnel.
You’ll see from the markets, and garden centres, now is a good time for buying plants. Choose plants carefully, as the plants you choose are an investment in your garden and the environment and will give you untold amounts of pleasure. We get very attached to our plants! Leaves should be healthy and free of signs of pests or disease and the plant should have a good form with lots of branches or stems and new growth. Plants should have a strong healthy root system, often they fill the pot that they are bought in and the compost should be weed and moss free. These plants can generally be planted out straight away and as long as they are watered into well prepared soil.
Our gardening is structured around the lunar cycle throughout the year (see our web site for further information www.penstemonsandherbs.com). As the moon is ascending from today it is a good time for sowing seeds. The lunar calendar dates for the coming month are New Moon on 3 April and the Full Moon on 18 April.
We hope to see you at the plant shows this season and would also welcome you here at the nursery. We are open every Wednesday and the last Sunday of each month, however we are here most of the time so feel free to drop in if you are passing!
Until the next time enjoy your gardens.