Get Out in the Garden and Get Ready for Spring

Spring is in the air – we’ve had more than a few hints as to the warmer climes coming – and the gardening team is getting ready for a busy season. We’ll be dividing and repositioning grasses and herbaceous plants in the grass garden.

We’re also making plans for the summer displays on the terrace, while the indoor team will be busy re-potting the orchids in the Subtropical House Orchid Case.

Early spring is a great time to re-pot them as they have finished flowering and new stem growth is about to come through. Once they are taken out of their pots, all the old compost is removed and any dead roots are trimmed off we then select a big terracotta pot that has enough space for two years growth and cover the plant in orchid compost. This comprises
10 parts medium grade pine bark, 5 parts fine grade pine bark, 1½ parts of perlite and ¼ part granulated charcoal. Bark is also used as many orchids are epiphytes – growing on tree branches in the wild for support.

Lastly, daffodils grown in pots and cold frames over the winter will now be brought into the cool greenhouse. Green garden canes and string will be used to stake the tall flowers to stop them from falling over.

SEASONAL TIPS FOR MARCH

If you aren’t sure of what needs to be done in your own garden, why not follow our seasonal tips for March below:

Give any bulbs that you have in pots a highpotassium feed every 10-14 days to prolong the display, as well helping the bulb replenish it stores for next year.

Lift and split herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. Not only does it increase your stock, it also allows you to fill up any bare areas in your garden. If you only re-plant the younger growth and discard the old material it will also provide the plants with renewed vigour to grow.

Turn your compost heaps. On a cold day this job will warm you up and it will allow the layers of material to mix together, letting in air and helping material to rot. This gives you a much better chance of making high-quality garden compost.

Start planting summer flowering bulbs such as Lilles and Gladiolus for a summer display or to use as cut flowers for your house. As Rose buds are fattening up, it’s the perfect time to prune your roses to an outward facing
bud.

It’s important to clean glasshouses and cold frames ready for the new growing season.

Wash plant pots and seed trays to prevent pests and diseases from damaging precious young plants.

Sow hardy annuals seeds such as sweet peas (if you didn’t get round to doing it in the autumn) – remember that April will be too late to do this.

Start feeding houseplants with a high nitrogen fertiliser every 7 to 14 days to encourage growth.

Place Canna, Dahlias and Ginger Lilies in a warm spot in the glasshouse and give them a good water to encourage new growth.

To find out more and for more tips, follow Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Twitter @ BhamBotanicalGd or visit www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk

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