Continuing our garden maintenance theme now that Spring is in the air and the garden is crying out for colour, it’s time to turn your attention to ensuring that you get your hardy annuals going by sowing them either in pots, trays or modules. Sweet Peas can be started off too, I generally nick the seed coating to give them a start or soak them for a few hours to soften that hard outer shell. Whilst you are busy sowing you should also start off your Summer bedding plants if you are intending to grow them from seed. If you are going to sow in the early part of March then put them in a heated propagator or sow under glass to give them some protection from the frosts you can still get – we had an incredibly hard frost yesterday morning.
It also time to topdress your containers with some fresh compost and maybe put some fertilisers on the bulbs that are beginning to peep through now. I also like to try and get a mulch onto some of the borders before the weeds start springing up. I shall be using some of the material that we shredded last year when chopping down some trees, it has broken down quite well and is ready for use now.
Talking of trees it’s time to check any shrubs and trees planted last autumn and firm them in. It’s also time for one of my favourite jobs – pruning. I’m a great believer in hard pruning to get a plant to be the way you want it to be. My definition of a weed is any plant that isn’t where you want it or doesn’t do what you want so I wield the secateurs with some ferocity. At this time of year I will be looking over my summer flowering shrubs and late flowering clematis amongst other things such as climbers which have run riot over the year. I won’t be touching my spring flowering shrubs til after they have finished flowering but they too will get a serious hair cut in due course.
I’m not a great fan of evergreens and conifers but if you do have them in your garden this is the time when you should look to move any that need a change of scenery as part of your garden maintenance plan.