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March / Mawrth

At the Glade, we've put together our planting plans for the season and are digging the stones out of our new runner bean beds. The daffodils we planted last year have come up beautifully, snowdrops and primroses are pretty in the woodland garden and the tips of bluebells and ramsons are visible along the trees.Talking of bulbs: We planted our garlic in the autumn, but if you haven't already, it is not too late to put some cloves in the soil.

Our lovely volunteers are still meeting at the Glade every Sunday at 10am (unless the weather is absolutely atrocious). Do feel free to join us, either to get your hands dirty working the garden, or just to enjoy the daffodils and socialise outdoors with some friendly folk. Tea and biscuits have been spotted on occasion to facilitate the latter. And if you have a garden question, we may not have the answer but someone is sure to have an opinion.

This month, sowing time begins in earnest, with many hardy vegetables able to germinate outside in the latter half of the month. Generally, the drier and warmer the soil, the better. If you have a wet, shady spot of heavy clay soil, wait a week or two longer.

Many gardeners will also use their windowsills to start seed indoors in modules or trays. Some plants, such as Sweet Peas, germinate better with warmth, but the seedlings are perfectly hardy and can go outside as soon as the seeds have sprouted. We'll try growing Sweet Peas at the Glade this season, so hopefully you'll be able to pick beautifully scented flowers in the Summer.

For plants that need lots of warmth and a longer growing season than is available in the UK, such as chillis, peppers and aubergines, starting them indoors and transplanting them into the garden after the last frost is the only option.

As the soil warms up and the days get longer, your vegetable seeds won't be the only thing germinating outside - the weeds will start sprouting, too! So be sure to remove as many as you can now while they are still small. For those of you working in front of computers from home, just ten minutes of weeding every lunch time will make a huge difference for your entire growing season and is also good for your wellbeing.

Where to focus your efforts, you ask? Two additional garden thugs I would like to recommend for elimination from your veg beds are Creeping Buttercup and anything remotely resembling a Willowherb. (There are a number of different Willowherbs that even botanists struggle to tell apart. Not to worry - just weed them all out.) While they add lovely yellow and pink flowers to lawns and meadows, the former creeps everywhere and regrows from root fragments and the latter produces a positively alarming amount of seeds. Look for a, well, creeping tangle of lobed leaves (dig out the roots!) and little clusters of red-tinged oval leaves. Both grow vigorously if unchecked, so to save your vegetables from smothering, consign them to an early death through hoeing.

Sow outside now / Hau allan nawr:

- Broad bean/ Ffa

- Spinach / Spigoglys

- Parsnips / Pannas

Plant now / Plannu nawr:

- Garlic / Garlleg

- Potatoes / Tatws

Harvest now / Cynaeafu nawr:

- Kale / Cêl

- Leek / Cennin

- Sprouting Broccoli / Brocoli


Written by a volunteer