Gardening tips

In the flower garden…

– Prune your Wisteria now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
– Towards the end of the month prune summer-flowering Clematis before active growth begins.
РCut back shrubs such as Cornus and Salix cultivars  (grown for their colourful winter stems) down to their bases.
– Cut back the old foliage from ornamental grasses before growth begins – cut them to within a few centimetres of the ground.
– Prune winter flowering shrubs such as Mahonia and Viburnum after their colourful display has finished.
– Trim winter-flowering heathers as the flowers disappear, to prevent the plants becoming leggy.
– Dead head winter flowering pansies to stop them setting seed. This will encourage a flush of new flowers when the weather warms up.
– If you need to move deciduous trees or shrubs, now is the time to do it provided the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
– Plant lily and allium bulbs now.
– Plant fragrant winter flowering shrubs to add interest to borders. Try Daphnes, Viburnum x bodnantense, Hamemelis or Chimonanthus.

In the vegetable garden…

-Start chitting early potatoes – stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost-free place.
– Plant rhubarb crowns now. Force them for an early crop.
– Start sowing vegetable seeds such as leeks, onions and celariac under cover now.
– Prepare vegetable seed beds by removing all weeds and forking in plenty of compost. Cover prepared soil with sheets of black plastic to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for spring planting.

In the fruit garden…

– Cut autumn fruiting raspberry canes to the ground to stimulate new canes, which will fruit in the autumn. Cut the tips of summer-fruiting raspberry canes that have grown beyond the top of their supports; cut just above a bud.
– Continue to plant raspberry canes for the coming summer.
– Prune apple and pear trees whilst they’re still dormant. Leave plum, cherry and apricot trees until the summer.
– Prune back blackcurrants, gooseberries and redcurrants to maintain a productive framework. Currant bushes can also still be planted between now and spring.
– Mulch fruit trees with well rotted manure or garden compost taking care not to mound up mulch around the trunk.

Looking after your lawn…

With spring on the way it’s worth preparing your lawn for the season ahead. Try installing lawn edging which creates a neat and tidy appearance, making maintenance easier.