- Buy and plant container grown herbaceous plants, shrubs and climbers
- Sow hardy annuals such as sunflower, candytuft, marigold and love-in-the-mist in the open ground
- At the end of the month, prune dogwoods and willows grown for their bark
- Cut back winter heathers after flowering using shears
- Prune plants where you want big leaves, such as eucalyptus and Indian bean tree (catalpa)
- Lift and split overcrowded clumps of snowdrop
- Plant the sweet pea seedlings you sowed earlier in the greenhouse
- Spike the lawn to improve aeration and drainage
- Repair lawn edges
- Keep dead-heading your winter pansies
- Grow patio roses in pots for a long season of flowering. Flower Carpet varieties are good, and 'Irish Eyes' was Rose of the Year for 2000
- Repot house plants Repot half-hardy fuchsias
- Start liquid feeding shrubs in pots every two weeks
- Cover wet soil with cloches for two or three weeks before sowing or planting
- Chit maincrop potatoes
- Sow hardy veg such as peas,lettuce and radish. For small gardens, try mini varieties
- Grow parsley from seed - boiling water poured along the drill first warms up the soil and enhances germination
- Sow other herbs; salad rocket is very easy to grow
- In warm areas, plant early potatoes
- Plant begonia tubers
- In heated greenhouses sow tender vegetables - aubergine, indoor tomatoes, chillies and peppers
- Sow bedding plants such as nicotiana, antirrhinum and salvia
- Pot up overwintered geranium cuttings
- Take cuttings from new growth of herbaceous plants such as delphinium, lupin and aster
Feed and mulch
Weed your borders, gently forking over the soil and working in a balanced fertiliser such as Osmocote, Vitax Q4 or Growmore. Then top-dress with garden compost or a proprietary mulch product from a garden centre. This will set up your herbaceous plants, trees, shrubs and fruit for the whole season.
NOW'S THE TIME
- LIFT OVERCROWDED HERBACEOUS PLANTS
Split Michaelmas daisies, sedums, day lilies and hostas into smaller pieces and replant in groups of three or five.
Flowering vigour will be restored.
- GET RID OF MOSS
If you want a better lawn, apply moss killer.
Two weeks later, rake out the dead patches and feed.
If time is short, use a combined fertiliser/moss killer.
- BUY PLUG PLANTS OR SEEDLINGS
Grow them on in a greenhouse for summer containers - and save a lot of money.
- PRUNE BUSH ROSES
Cut back to an outward-facing bud.
Remove dead or crossed stems.
- WATCH OUT FOR SLUGS
Particularly on bulb flowers.
Aluminium sulphate is less risky to wildlife and pets than slug pellets.