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Friday, 9 March 2018

This Month in Your Garden

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant" - Anne Bradstreet

Certainly winter has hung on grimly with the wind and snow from the east to disrupt everything. This time last year we were saying spring arrives in mid March, so we hope we’re right in believing the freak front will subside soon and allow us into the garden to start planting and sowing.

If you’re still waiting for the ground to warm up you could be cutting back winter shrubs, tidying, weeding and pruning. Large flowering clematis, roses, dogwood, buddleia and willow will all benefit from being cut back. The soil in borders you dug over in the autumn will have benefitted from the heavy frosts and can be worked over with a spade or fork to create a fine tithe, with plenty of compost added ready for planting.

Weather permitting, start transplanting herbaceous plants whose clumps you have separated to gain the healthy young outer growth. Lilies and other summer flowering bulbs can be planted in the ground or containers, and sweet peas can be sown outside. Those you may have sown last autumn should be kept in a sunny position in the greenhouse until they are ready for planting out.

Sow hardy annuals for a continuous display in the summer. Annuals sown in the heated green house will bear you flowers by May. You can succession plant cut flowers for the summer in late March onwards and perennials such as delphiniums and hollyhocks will add more, tall, colour to your border display.

When you’re planting summer flowering bulbs make sure the soil is prepared and allows good drainage so they are not sitting in water and rotting. Plant herbaceous perennials, geraniums, Oriental poppies, Agapanthus to Verbenas and anything from A to Z you fancy in between.

  • Transplant Heleniums, Michaelmas daisies, solidago, rudbeckia and other herbaceous plants
  • Top dress containers with compost
  • Provide plant supports for growing perennials
  • Order your summer flowering bulbs such as dahlias and cannas
  • Trim back hedges before birds start nesting
  • Plant out indoor forced bulbs used for winter displays
  • Propagate dahlias from tubers
  • Deadhead winter flowering pansies   
  • Top dress flowering alpines with grit or gravel

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