Tips for getting your Spring season started

By CLAIRE BROWN of Plant Passion

It’s still too early to sow your Half Hardy Annuals (those that can’t go out until the end of May ) but the Hardy Annuals, such as Cornflowers, Ammi, Iceland poppies, Orlaya, Calendula and Gypsophila can all be sown now, as soon as the snow melts.

Have a look at the perennials poking through the ground. (That’s plants that flower in the summer, but aren’t showing all winter). Now is a great time to lift and split them. Things like Alchemilla, Solidago, Achillea, Stachys and Centarea. I pot them up and give them a bit of shelter for a few weeks in my polytunnel (or just a sheltered bit at the side of the house will help. This give the the time to grow a lovely root system and they will be strong in the ground and flower wonderfully this year. If you’ve got too many, then you could always use them to enter the Horsley Garden Society Plant Sale on the Saturday 19th May

Use Environmesh or Fleece to give newly planted seedlings a helping hand. I’ve been using Environmesh for 2 years now , having seen it working so well at our Grace and Flavour Community Garden and the productivity of my plants has gone up amazingly. As well as keeping off pests, Environmesh keep some of the wind and some of the cooler temperatures away from your new plants, enabling them to grow away faster and healthier.

Don’t forget to label everything. I know you think you’ll know what’s in that tray, but it really helps to know what variety it is and when you planted it.

Continue pruning evergreen shrubs, and now you can cut back Buddleya’s, Cornus and willows plus pollard Eucalyptus.  (I’ll gladly take any pruning!)

Don’t start mowing your lawn yet, – it’s way to wet underfoot.

Flowering for Mothering Sunday from your Garden –  look out for Hellebores, Daffodils, Camellia, Primulas, Kerria, Hyacinths, Early Tulips and Snowflakes.

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