- Help birds prepare for their nesting and breeding season by feeding high protein feeds like mealworms and peanuts. Providing nest boxes may help speed up their house hunting.
Shrubs, Trees and Flowers
- Spring pruning (before flowering) – If your plants flower from July – October and are deciduous you can prune these plants in spring. Food reserves from the roots will soon send out new shoots which then tend to flower at the ends of the new growth. Prune last year’s growth to just two or three buds above healthy thick stems to provide a good framework for the new growth. Plants suitable for this pruning are Buddleja, Fuschia, Hibiscus, Hydrangea Paniculata and Spirea Japonica
- Hold off from pruning evergreens until April as they need their foliage to kickstart growth in warmer weather.
- Remove up to a third of spent flowering stems back to old wood on winter-flowering shrubs, such as forsythia and jasmine, as soon as the flowers fade. This will promote fresh new wood for next year.
- Prune shrub and climbing roses. Apply a rose feed around the base of roses and other flowering shrubs to promote good flower growth and quality.
- Split perennials plants that have become overcrowded.
- Cut down Cornus stems to encourage new colourful growth.
- Ideal time to plant herbaceous perennials for borders full of colour this year.
- Plant Lily bulbs in deep containers with soil based compost for wonderful flower and scent later in the year. Ideal for doorways and patios.
- Plant Dahlias in pots in multipurpose compost for beautiful summer colour.
- Sow seeds of hardy perennials either directly into the ground if conditions are suitable or start them off in modules for later planting.
- Sow half-hardy annuals indoors or in a heated greenhouse.
- Deadhead daffodils but leave the foliage to die down naturally.
- Get your supports ready for tall herbaceous perennials.
- Divide Hosta’s before they come into leaf.
- Divide Hellebores after flowering.
- Remove old hellebore leaves.
- Sow wildflower meadows.
- Prepare ground for sowing new lawns at the end of the month or in April.
- New turf can be laid.
- Early mowing should be done at the highest lawn mower setting and on dry days.
- Late March / April apply a Spring / Summer lawn fertiliser.
Fruit and Vegetables
- Prepare soil for sowing in vegetable patches by raking in general purpose fertiliser such as Growmore or Blood Fish and Bone. Covering the soil with cloches or fleece will help warm it up for early planting also having fleece and/or cloches on hand will help to cover up crops in colder conditions.
- Cover strawberry plants with cloches to get an earlier crop.
- Plant early potatoes, weather permitting. If you cannot decide on the variety why not plant 2 or 3 different ones, this will give you crops at different times through the season.
- Plant onion sets, shallots and garlic if soil conditions are suitable. If not, these can be started off in pots for planting out later.
- Sow tomatoes, aubergines, sweet peppers and chillies in trays or modules with gentle bottom heat.
- Sow carrots, beetroot, peas, salad leaves, spinach, cabbage, parsnip and turnips outdoors once soil is sufficiently warmed up and dry enough or start off under cover.
- Sow winter brassicas in seed trays or modules in a cold greenhouse, poly tunnel or growhouse.
- Consider installing automatic irrigation in vegetable plots whilst plants are small to make light work of watering and prevent problems like bolting if they get to dry.
- If you have no space to grow fruit and vegetables in the garden consider growing in containers.
- Keep paths and patios free of algae by using a patio cleaner
- Ventilate greenhouse or grow house on sunny days.
- Keep on top of annual weeds by pulling out or hoeing.
- Watch out for slugs and snails and protect vulnerable crops and plants with slug pellets or natural slug control products.
- Ideal time to clean or install a water butt or even add new ones.
- Fertilise borders.
- Treat timber with a wood stain and preservative.