Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
- Early potatoes can be put in to sprout with a little warmth and good light for planting in the coming weeks, depending on the soil conditions.
- Ground for vegetables should be cleared of weeds and cultivated for sowing the first seeds, as soon as the opportunity arises. Weeds could be removed or killed on vegetable ground.
- Shallots and garlic can be planted early in dry weather..
- Sow seeds of early varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce and onions in a tunnel or glasshouse to get a head-start on the season despite the conditions outdoors.
- Fruit trees and bushes can be planted now and pruning completed.
Greenhouse and House Plants
- Permanent greenhouse plants that have grown too large can be pruned back in the next few weeks.
- Grape mildew is a big problem on glasshouse grapevines but the rose sprays are very effective on mildew and these can be applied when the first new leaves appear.
- Begin regular watering as the plants begin to make new growth. Feeding can begin too but there is still time as growth is still slow.
- Lawn areas should be mown as early as possible in the year if possible. Do not mow too tightly at this stage, a topping is all that is required to keep it looking neat.
- Lawn edges could be tidied too, using an edging shears or a strimmer.
- If there is heavy moss growth, a lawn mosskiller can be applied at this stage, with lawn feeding later in spring to boost competitive grass growth.
- Humps and hollows in a lawn can be removed while the soil is moist and the sods are easily lifted to add or take away soil.
- Old flower stems can be tidied away or they can be left on the soil surface as a mulch.
- The lifting and dividing of over-grown herbaceous flowers can resume as soon as the soil is dry enough.
- It is a good time to plant new perennial flowers too.
- Seeds of geraniums, lobelia, busy lizzie and bedding begonias can be sown in a heated propagator.
- In the next few weeks, the tubers of dahlias, begonias and gloxinias can be started in a greenhouse, or on a windowsill indoors. Set the tubers lightly onto moist compost in a seed tray or small pot.
Trees, Shrubs and Roses
- Bush roses, and repeat-flowering climbers, should be pruned in the next two weeks, if not already done.
- Deciduous tree planting can continue if the ground is not too wet.
- Deciduous trees and shrubs can be moved at this time, if they were planted in the wrong place – even quite large shrubs move well mostly.
- Gather fallen twigs that may have blown from trees during gales.
- Hedges that have grown too tall or too wide can be cut back hard to old wood now, but not cypresses as these do not re-sprout.