There is plenty to do to prepare your garden for those milder spring days that are just around the corner.
TREES SHRUBS AND FLOWERS.
- There is still time to plant Lily bulbs in the borders for an attractive summer display.
- Start dahlia tubers into growth. Plant in a shallow tray of potting compost in a light, warm place. When shoots reach 2.5cm pot up and grow on in a frost free environment until they can be planted out in early June.
- Start feeding roses. Encourage healthy growth and flowering by feeding hungry plants such as clematis and roses with a general purpose or rose fertiliser later this month.
- Prune Wisteria by cutting back side shots and shortening the summer pruned shoots further to just two or three buds.
- Tidy herbaceous perennials. As new growth starts to emerge , remove old stems completely.
- Lawns may need mowing soon.Use a high setting and avoid mowing wet or frosty grass, or if the ground conditions are too soft.
- Continue to deadhead winter pansies and other bedding to encourage flowering.
- Sow sweet peas on a windowsill or in a cool greenhouse.
FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND HERBS.
- Cut all canes of autumn fruiting raspberries down to ground level.
- Apply a general purpose fertiliser to tree, bush and cane fruit.
- Buy and plant cane fruit, bare root plants will be available now.
- Sow seeds of tomatoes and cucumbers for cultivation under glass in a bright warm place. For crops to grow outdoors sow in March.
- Chit seed potatoes of early varieties now in a light , cool, frost free place.
- Prune citrus trees
- Protect the flowers of outdoor peach, nectarines and apricots with horticultural fleece now and hand pollinate with a soft paintbrush as insects are scarce now.
- Consider birds when pruning. Deciduous hedges should be pruned this month before the birds start nesting.
- When ordering plants and seeds online always use a reputable UK supplier to reduce the risk of spreading pests, disease and invasive plant species.
- Save old newspapers for making paper pots for seed sowing.
- To reduce the use of plastic, find plants that have been grown in biodegradable pots and rather than buying plastic seed trays reuse old fruit punnets and yoghurt pots.
- Now is a good time to install compost bins or to make a compost heap. They should be positioned in partial shade directly onto soil to allow drainage and access for beneficial soil organisms.
- Hazel coppicing, done every few years now is the ideal time to produce strong, straight poles ideal for bean supports or ornamental climbers.