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Dig for victory! Jobs to do now in the garden

Up tools! The pros at The Big Plant Nursery in Twyford have fired the gardening starting gun to ensure your plot is blooming showstopper. On your mark, get set, DIG!

Did you know that gardeners have a different date for the start of spring to the rest of us? While ‘Meteorological Spring’ starts on 1 March every year, ‘Horticultural Spring’ is another matter. It’s determined by certain spring plants appearing in your garden (daffodils, crocuses etc.) and takes eight weeks to travel from Lands End to John O’Groats. Given that we’ve already spotted a daffodil in bloom on a roadside in Berkshire, I’m afraid there’s no excuse to delay – the garden is calling! (unless you’re north of Leeds, in which case, slippers on and back to the wood burner…)

Shoots of spring flowers daffodils in early spring garden

Break yourself in gently to the start of the growing season with a few easy tasks.

It is pretty much the last chance to prune apples, pears and wisteria. Wait until spring is well underway to prune any stone fruits though, like plums and cherries.

1

Order hedging by early March to catch last orders of the more cost effective bare-root and rootball plants.

2

Divide and conquer. Now is the time to lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials. It’s a brilliant wait to help growth and is an inexpensive way of adding more plants to your garden. While you’re rooting around in the flower beds, protect new spring shoots from slugs.

3

Now is the time to give your pots and containers some love by top dressing the soil. Top what? Basically, you need to add nutritious organic material on your garden several inches thick, like a mulch/compost. It’s also a good time to apply a slow-release fertiliser around the base of trees and shrubs.

4

Mow your lawn. It might look like the Somme right now, but when you get a couple of dry days, frost free days take the opportunity to give your grass its first haircut of 2022. It’s also time to consider treating them as well, ensuring a rich, well-coloured lawn in time for the summer. This could involve raking off dead leaves and debris, and aerating the lawn if you’re super keen.

5

Start weeding! If your plants are growing, so are the weeds, and generally, they will grow faster than your plants. They will compete against your plants for light, nutrients and water, as well as hosting pests and diseases.

6

Plant away! Spring is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs for year round interest.

7

The Big Plant Nursery, Wargrave Rd, Twyford, Berkshire RG10 9PN. Tel: 0118 934 1500.

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