Monty Don outlines method for planting herbaceous peonies
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Monty Don, best known for his role on Gardeners’ World, shares gardening advice both online and on television. In his recent blog post for March, the gardening expert shared top jobs to do in the garden this month, including preparing the allotment or vegetable patch.
Monty wrote: “Sow seeds under cover such as cabbage, lettuce, celery, beetroot and tomatoes.
“Do not sow any seeds outside if the ground feels cold to touch.
“If warm and dry enough, sow broad beans, beetroot, rocket, spinach, mizuna, parsnips, radish and winter lettuce.
“Chit potatoes and plant out at the end of the month if the ground is try enough.”
Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables grown in the UK and should germinate within two weeks of being sown.
Gardeners’ World explained: “Fill your pot with seed compost, leaving a couple of centimetres below the rim.
“Scatter the seeds evenly over the compost and cover with vermiculite.
“Water well, then cover the pot with a plastic bag or piece of clingfilm to keep the compost moist.”
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When seedlings appear, the cover can be removed from the pot.
If tomatoes are being grown on a windowsill, the pot should be turned regularly to prevent the plants growing towards the light.
Gardeners’ World added: “Pot on the tomato seedlings when they’re about 10 centimetres tall.
“Plant them deeply into individual 7.5 centimetre pots.
“In late May, harden off plants before planting them into their final position.
Gardeners can also plant out onion and shallot sets.
However, Monty recommended covering them with fleece for the first few weeks to help stop birds pulling them from the ground.
Onion seeds can be sown in a pot or tray of seed compost, making sure to space them about one centimetre apart.
They should be covered with a thin layer of compost or tray in water to help keep them moist.
Gardeners’ World said: “When the seedlings are a few inches tall, prick them out and transplant into fresh compost.”
When established, they can be transferred to the garden, placing them around 10 to 15 centimetres apart.
To help prevent weeds, they should be hoed regularly.
By the end of the month, the expert also advised gardeners to big any unprepared ground and make raised beds as well as dig in overwintering green manure.
For those who have grown their own gooseberries and currants, now is the time to prune them.
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