20.5 C
Newcastle
Friday, January 22, 2021

March a time to recover and repair

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn, and boy haven’t we been waiting for it this year!

The heat may come back, but March marks an important period in the gardening calendar: it is time to repair the damage from the intense summer with very little rain.

Lawns have been decimated by army grub and black beetles – double threat this year.

This happens when it is dry and hot, leaving lawns brown and patchy. It would be wise to keep up treatment every 10 days until new growth appears in brown areas; never treat just the brown patches, as the grub has moved on to what is left of the green grass.

Apply Seasol to the brown patches to try and stimulate root growth before winter comes.

My catalpas, which feature in my garden, are standards with large heads of lime-green leaves.

Not now; they are a burnt mess, which I have left alone, as removing the burnt leaves may subject them to more burn if the heat returns.

With most deciduous trees, particularly robinias, their leaves will fall during autumn and when spring comes, they will have recovered producing lovely new growth.

March is time to give citrus extra care, besides fertilising. They certainly will have been attacked by leaf miner, which causes the new growth to curl which can be pruned back after the weather cools.   

There isn’t much to do to prevent this leaf curl other than regular applications of Eco-oil, although I have found Ecofend, specified for citrus leaf miner, is having some affect.

Ground-grown citrus should be fed with poultry manure out under the drip line on well-watered  
soil; apply, then water again.

A couple of weeks later, using the same application method, apply citrus fertiliser.

Never use citrus fertiliser on potted plants – they will burn and defoliate.

Use slow-release products such as Bounceback, applying to a well-watered plant.

Annuals such as pansies and sweet peas will soon become available in retail outlets – too soon and too hot.

Beds can be prepared by removing spent flowers and vegetables, then dig in poultry manure and  
an all-purpose plant food, which should be left for a couple of weeks before planting.

Sasanqua camellias will be setting buds soon, feed with cow manure and apply peat moss over the surface to maintain acidity.

This treatment can also be applied to Japonica camellias, which will bloom in winter.

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