So much to do – so little time!
There’s been a burst of energy under cover of the Potting Shed – well the garage really as that’s where the potting etc takes place!
- Prune rose bushes
- Trim winter-flowering heathers to neaten the plants and remove faded flowers
- Cut down old growth on penstemons, leaving new shoots around the base
- Lift and divide congested clumps of snowdrops. March is also a good time to buy new snowdrops ‘in the green’
- Prune winter jasmine after flowering to control growth
- Prepare the soil for sowing hardy annuals in April
- Plant out gladioli, lilies and other summer bulbs
- Start spraying outdoor peach and nectarine leaves to prevent peach-leaf curl
- Prick out seedlings from previous plantings
- Choose new herbaceous plants
- Lift and divide established plants
- Sow half-hardy annuals and alpines under cover
- Plant gladiolus and other corms
- Take cuttings of chrysanthemums, fuchsias, pelargoniums and dahlias under glass
In the greenhouse
- Continue sowing seed of summer bedding plants like geraniums and petunias
- Feed winter-flowering pot plants
- Start watering fuchsias to bring dormant plants back into growth, and cut back dead stems
- Plant first early potatoes in mild areas where the soil is workable
- Spring prune fruit trees like Peaches and Nectarines
- Sow some Sweet Peas to grow alongside your Runner Beans
- Plant more onion sets and also some more shallots
- Spread some wood ash or high potash nutrient on raspberries and strawberries.
- Sow Lettuce, Parsley, Coriander, Basil, Red Cabbage and Cauliflower in the cold-frame
- Sow some Tomatoes, Chilli Pepper, Aubergine and Bell Pepper in a heated propagator
- Sow Radish, New Zealand Spinach, early Carrots directly in the ground in milder areas. I’m planning to grow New Zealand Spinach again this year. If you’re in the UK you should really sow it now because if you wait any longer the plants have a very good chance of bolting. They are so susceptible to bolting that flowers can even appear before leaves! It’s very frustrating. However, if you treat them like a cold-weather crop i.e. March/April and Sept/Oct then you should be fine.
- Sow Peas in guttering at two-week intervals – place in cold frame or under fleece.
I haven’t had much luck with germination when I plant directly in the ground. Either the peas rot in the ground or the mice steal them. So if you don’t have a cold frame, try sowing them in lengths of guttering and then tucking them up with a double layer of fleece. That way they have a better chance of germination and also when it comes to planting them out on the plot all you do is water them, then slide the whole thing out into a trench. Very easy!
- Spread mulches of bark or compost over flower beds
- Check borders for weeds and tackle any problem areas before they have chance to get established
- Cut back any overgrown ivy
- Build a compost heap, or buy a new bin to allow you to recycle more kitchen and garden waste
If you get through the whole of this list you will deserve a sit down with a nice cup of tea or other beverage of your choice!
And finally – A word of warning – keep your eye on the weather. There’s little point in sowing or planting when cold weather is forecast.