Allotment Associations & Horticultural Groups in Harrow, Middlesex
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In the garden

Lawns: should be mown regularly, use the clippings on your compost heaps as a nice sandwich filler between layers of weeds etc. Treat the lawn to a Spring & Summer feed.

Roses: give them a helping of fertilizer which will build up their resistance to disease. Also have the Roseclear spray ready.

Dahlias: they can be planted towards the end of the month so that the crown of the tuber is 3-4 inches below the surface.

Sweet Peas: plant March grown seedlings when they are growing well. Flowers; Hardy annuals can be sown outdoors, and annuals and vegetable, including tomatoes, can be sown in the greenhouse.

Herbs:  all herbs have nice scents and will attract bees and butterflies. Choose a warm, dry-ish spot close to kitchen. Annual herbs may be sown in place and perennials are best started of in compost in a cold frame or greenhouse. Herbs can be thinned out as they develop or transplanted in late Spring.

House plants: We hope you have not over-watered them in winter, but now you can slightly increase their drinking, adding some proprietary liquid fertilizer.

On the allotment

Vegetables:  in the middle of the month sow main crop carrots, using land manured for the previous crop. Then, towards the end of the month, sow beetroot, first sowing the seeds in water overnight, perhaps adding a little salt.

Potatoes: early varieties should have been planted by the end of March, and the maincrop 3-4 weeks later. When shoots are 3-4 inches high draw the soil up so that the tips just show, repeat this after another 3-4 inches growth.. This encourages top growth, which means more potatoes and also keeps the weeds down. If frost is forecast protect the top growth with straw, bracken or newspaper.

Tip of the month

Germination: one tip especially with seeds which are not easy to get started, put them in moist blotting paper in the airing cupboard and transfer them to small pot when they have grown enough.

Ralph of Roxbourne Society

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