Sowing Tomatoes In March

Owners of unhealed greenhouses or propagating equipment will not have been able to do much in the way of plant raising to date, but from now on they will have to use every bit of space. The emphasis this month should be on seed and plant propagation. Sow tomatoes for cool and cold greenhouse growing; also cucumbers, courgettes, and sweet peppers. Make further sowings of radish and. where emphasis is on early vegetable production, sow beetroot, carrots, and turnips. From March through to June sow freesias, Plant out tomatoes in a warm greenhouse if the soil or compost temperature is at least ifC (57°F).

April

Asparagus ferns grow rapidly and need dividing every year or so; now is a good time to do this. Orders placed for perpetual-flowering carnations are often delivered this month; pot them

Above telt Start dahlia tubers In damp peat in February Cuttings are ready in about a month Right The limited space in a small greenhouse may be overstretched at some times of the year, so plan cropping in advance.

Starting Dahlia Tubers PotsStart Dahlia Pot

will be hardened off. Pot-grown camellias and newly-potted mid-season and late decorative chrysanthemums should be moved to their summer quarters outside. Pot-grown roses should by now have developed spring flowers and may be moved to plunge beds outdoors. This entails digging out an area to the same depth as the pots and spacing the pots in it so that each plant has ample room to grow, Fiil the area between the pots with ashes, coarse sand, or peat, and keep this moist. The pot tops may be covered by a thin layer of topsoil. Plants are individually watered in the normal manner, but water loss from the pots is reduced and the root system kept cool.

Solatium should be moved to a cold frame for the summer months. Sow Primula kewensis, P. obconica, and ornamental capsicums. Remove the side shoots of tomatoes at an early stage. The training of cucumber plants is likely to occupy much of your time this month.

up immediately they arrive. It a mist-propagating unit is available, two or three days under mist will speed up their establishment. This is the month to make up hanging baskets for the greenhouse or home-

Overwintered lettuce should be ready for cutting; when the majority have been cut, clear away the debris and make ready for the following crop without delay, Sow melons. Start runner beans for planting outdoors next month. If a few glasshouse climbers arc required, make a sowing of Pharbitis tricolor (morning glory) in a pan. Prevent damping-off of seedlings by watering regularly with Cheshunt compound, Tie in the vines.

Many plants will be moved this month from the shelter and warmth of the greenhouse to the frames in which they

After the hectic spring activities, June may offer something of a respite. Watch out for scorch arising from very hot sunshine; many mixed collections of pot-grown decorative plants may need to be shaded. Blinds are ideal; alternatively, use a shading compound on some of the glass to shade those plants that require it.

Plunge hydrangeas in their summer quarters outdoors. Sow calceolarias (and cinerarias if earlier sowings have not been made). Move young cvcla-

Making up a hanging basket 1 Line halt way up sides with sphaQnum moss, 2 Add layer of fibrous loam 3 Halt fill basket with compost, then water well. 4 Insert plants through side of basket. 5 Add more loam, compost, and additional plants to centre. 6 Completed basket, feed and water regularly men plants raised from seed to shaded frames. Start thinning the bunches of grapes on the vines, using vine scissors; this will need to be done several times at two to three-week intervals. The aim is to finish up with bunches ot well-spaced large grapes. Dismantle shelving to allow maximum light to reach the developing plants beneath it.

July

Start cyclamen conns into growth it' this method is being used. Take the first batch of pelargonium cuttings, which should root easily at this time of year. Sow Primula malacoideS for winter flowering. Vegetable harvesting should be in full swing in polythene and plastic greenhouses, and second sowings may be made following crop clearance; remember to give the plot additional fertilizer as a base dressing.

Pests and diseases are especially rife in mid-summer, and you should intensify your routine examinations of plants at this time of year, including those in frames and plunge beds.

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