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Preparing for spring

We’ve said goodbye to our Christmas festivities – welcomed in the New Year and now look forward to the arrival of spring.

There will be many of you like Adrian and myself that can’t wait for dryer and lighter days so that we can once more get our sleeves rolled up and get stuck in.

Having said that the exciting season is getting closer and the thrill of seeing those wonderful new shoots appearing from our autumn bulb planting.

Our new Spalding Plant & Bulb catalogue is already getting well-thumbed trying to decide what we want for our summer flowering garden. If you are as lucky as we are to be enjoying the odd relatively dry day you can utilise the time to protect any plants and please take a look at your greenhouse. You may decide it needs some inside protection – insulate it with bubble polythene.  As over the next few weeks whether we like it or not we are going to experience a much colder spell.

We have also started to put our seeds in sowing order date. A year last autumn we sowed some sweet peas that Adrian had saved from his own grown sweet peas  - they grew fantastically well – we were very busy at the same time last autumn and decided that we would start them off in spring this year. Either sowing times are OK.

At the weekend I managed to tidy the edge of the lawns and it certainly looks better for it. Which reminds me I must have my lawnmower checked over – nothing worse than going to do your first cut to find that there is something wrong with the mower.

There are other jobs that we can do at this time of the year – weather permitting of course.

Start forcing rhubarb

Pruning wisteria can be done in January. Any long shoots can be cut back by cutting back to two to three buds. Whilst doing that check that it is still well secured.

Also if you are growing gooseberries and currants they can be pruned.

If you do have a sunny day you can ventilate the greenhouse for a few hours.

Top up your bird baths daily.

Don’t forget to protect your outside tap.

Water pots of spring flowering bulbs.

If you didn’t get round to washing your seed trays they can be done now – that’s a job I have saved for Adrian – he loves it – or does he – not sure, but that jobs certainly got his name on! Tomorrow night whilst he’s doing that I’ll be in the kitchen making some carrot soup from the lovely carrots that we grew last autumn and then froze.   We will certainly be growing more this year.

 

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One other job when you can’t get outside – spare some time for your indoor plants. Check for dusty leaves and some plants may need a little fertiliser. Come gardening weather I, for one, tend to forget my indoor plants as I am so pleased to be outdoors!

Happy gardening to all gardeners for 2014!

Annie

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