Gardening tips for spring

Writing this on a freezing, foggy day, it seems a long way to the spring and summer but we can plan now for great things to come!

Get out your seed catalogues and remainders of seeds from last year and plan which seeds to sow when and where. This can be done either for windowsill propagation or in the greenhouse.

If you do venture outside there is always plenty of cleaning and tidying up to do. Pots to scrub, greenhouse glass to clean, and the lawn to rake (weather permitting). Pruning of shrubs can also be done now.

Sweet peas can be sown in pots or boxes, but a useful way to grow them is in the inner tubes from toilet rolls as this will disintegrate when planted out in the soil.

If you plan to plant potatoes then now is the time to “chit” them by standing them upright in a box, in a dark place so that the shoots can form.

February is the month when the bulbs really begin to sprout and the first to appear are snowdrops and crocus, followed by the early daffodils and narcissi.

In the vegetable plot it is time to plant new rhubarb, cut back herbs, prune raspberries and gooseberries, cutting off any dead, diseased and crossing branches then give them a dressing of fertiliser or compost. Put out cloches to warm the soil ready for seed planting later on. Try to resist planting things too early as all your efforts will be wasted.

Happy gardening!

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