IT'S THE WEEKEND: Our Garden Guru Rob Williams of the Secret Garden, Mamhilad, answers your questions

IT'S THE WEEKEND: Our Garden Guru Rob Williams of the Secret Garden, Mamhilad, answers your questions

IT'S THE WEEKEND: Our Garden Guru Rob Williams of the Secret Garden, Mamhilad, answers your questions

First published in News

Q: Is it safe to start planting potatoes, given the current wet weather and ground conditions? AR, Newport

A: Wait until mid April before planting your potatoes otherwise they can be damaged by a late frost. You can buy your potatoes now, keep them cool and dry and expose them to sunlight before planting,this is called chitting.

Q: I never seem to have much luck with carrots - they always end up sparse and tiny. What advice can you give for increasing yield and size? NG, Cwmbran

A: Carrots prefer a lighter soil. Fork the ground over to produce a fine tilth and remove any stones. Rake and water the bed. Mix the seed with sand and sow thinly in rows onto the bed then cover with a thin layer of compost. Plant some spring onions with them to confuse the carrot fly. Choose a reliable main crop variety like Autumn King. Keep the bed well watered.

Q: Is it too late to start forcing rhubarb and if so, what is the best time of the year to begin this process? RM, Chepstow

A: Force Rhubarb in January or February. The plants need to be well established. Force them every other year to keep the plants strong.

Q: What is the best time of the year to use grass seed or does it not matter? LT via Facebook

A: Grass seed needs warmth to germinate so any time between March and September.

Tips for the week:

Sow Broad Beans,Cauliflowers and Celery under cover.

Divide Snowdrops (if necessary) after flowering.

Plant garlic shallots and onion sets.

DO YOU have a question for our Garden Guru? Email maria.williams@southwalesargus.co.uk, tweet @ArgusMWilliams, leave a message on the Argus Facebook site, or write to Garden Guru, Newsdesk, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport NP20 3QN

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