Prepare yourself for the up coming sowing season, ensuring you have everything you need from seed trays to compost, labels and a heated propagator. The range of seeds now available that requires early sowing includes; Antirrhinum, Begonia, Lobella and Geranium.
Check plants growing in containers. If they have become pot bound with the roots filling the pot, repot or plant out in the garden. For all other pots give the plants a boost by removing the top inch of compost and replacing with fresh compost, adding a controlled released fertilizer.
Prune apple and pear trees, grape vines and Wisteria. Start by removing branches that are dead, dying or diseased with a good pair of secateurs or long handles pruners, try maintaining a goblet shaped tree with an open centre and finish by feeding with a granular fertilizer to help with the shock of pruning
Winter flowering shrubs can be planted at any time providing the soil is not frozen solid or waterlogged. Choose from Mahonia, Viburnums, Sarcococca, Witch Hazel, Winter Jasmine, winter flowering Heathers and shrubby Honeysuckles. Many of these plants have the added bonus of a strong perfume, so plant them close to the house. Give them the best possible start by digging in plenty of organic matter, such as compost or composted bark, and add some general granular fertiliser.
Keep houseplants in tip-top condition and they will continue to brighten up your home with colourful display for ages. For best results, don’t over water, deadhead flowering houseplants regularly and feed with a flowering houseplant fertiliser weekly to fortnightly. Foliage plants need regular hand misting or should be stood on a saucer of damp pebbles or Hortag to maintain humidity around the leaves. Just make sure that the bottom of the pot is not sitting in water as this will lead to the roots rotting.
Don’t forget about the wild birds in your garden. Hang up a few feeders and suet balls to encourage all year round feeding. Clean feeders regularly to decrease the chance of any disease.