Can you feel that change in the season as spring gradually approaches?
The biggest change is the lengthening daylight, it makes a big difference to plants, perking them up from winter.
The roses are gradually waking up in my garden and looking more sprightly. They were to be pruned last month, but I never got round to it, but it’s on the list for this week-end. I know that the longer I delay doing it, the more new growth I’ll have to cut off, which is a bit disheartening for me and the roses.
I’m hardening off plants in the cold frame, getting them used to the big outdoors by leaving the lid open all day and closing it at night for the next week or so. So long as it isn’t freezing cold, they’ll be planted in the garden at the end of the month. Meanwhile I’ll be getting their new space ready for them, weeding and giving the soil a covering of compost.
I didn’t mean to be protecting slugs along with new plants, but there they were lurking under plant-pots when I tidied up the cold frame earlier this week, it does show initiative, slugs are good at this, but they can devastate small, new plants overnight. Instead of using slug-pellets, I’m always on the look-out for snails and slugs when I’m in the garden, and birds are encouraged into the garden with bird-food and water, they are my little allies in the battle.
Bulbs are great plants, they need so little attention. I haven’t got many spring flowering bulbs in the garden, I’ve promised myself lots for next year, but I recommend dead-heading daffodils, iris reticulata and the like, leave the foliage to wither away naturally because it’s doing a great job of helping to feed the bulbs for next year.
If you’re lucky enough to have big clumps of herbaceous perennials, like geranium, heleniums or sedum, it’s your last chance this season to dig them up and split them into smaller clumps, to be re-planted. They look good planted in a big group, rather than dotted around the garden on their own. Enrich their new planting holes with compost, water them in if the soil is dry.
Oh, and spread some compost, well-rotted manure over any bare-soil, your plants will be very grateful.
Have a look here if you want to know what to do in the vegetable plot this month, the smart bird feeders are from
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos by Jill Anderson, bird-feeder photo from Green and Blue.