Gardening tips


• Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a slow release fertiliser by lightly forking it into the soil surface.

• Feed roses with special rose feed as they come into growth.

• Prune roses if you have not already done so to encourage strong new growth.

• Prune early-flowering clematis once their flowers have finished and summer-flowering varieties before they start into active growth.

• Finish cutting back Cornus and Salix cultivars,and other shrubs grown for their colourful winter stems. Cut them right back to their bases.

• Finish cutting back dead foliage from perennials and ornamental grasses to make way for new growth.

• Prune over-wintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot.

• Cut the old leaves off Hellebores to remove any foliar diseases and make spring flowers more visible.

• Continue to deadhead winter pansies to stop them setting seed. This will encourage flushes of new flowers throughout the spring.

• Deadhead daffodils as the flowers finish and let the foliage die back naturally.

• 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.

• Feed blueberry plants with ericaceous plant fertiliser.

• Protect the blossoms of apricots, peaches and nectarines from frost with horticultural fleece.

• Mulch fruit trees with well-rotted manure or garden compost. Take care not to mound mulch up around tree trunks.

• Cover strawberries with a cloche to encourage earlier fruiting.

• Dig in green manures grown over the winter. Do this while stems are still soft.

• Dig compost, well-rotted manure or green waste into your vegetable beds to prepare for the growing season ahead.

• Weed vegetable seed beds.

• Cover prepared soil with sheets of black polythene to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for planting.

• Weed and mulch asparagus beds. Asparagus has shallow roots so weed by hand to prevent damage.

• Re-cut any lawn edges if necessary.

• Install lawn edging to make future maintenance easier.

• Mow your lawn if it needs it. Choose a dry day and set your blades higher than usual.

• Prepare soil for growing new lawn from seed.