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Prune established bush and shrub Roses this month. Rambling Roses are pruned after they flowered and should not be pruned now or you will lose this year’s flowers. Climbing Roses are usually best pruned in the autumn. A good pair of secateurs is a necessity; we have a good selection to choose from and will be only too happy to advise you. If you have some Felco secateurs that are in need of sharpening or have lost a spring, now is the time to make use of our rejuvenating service. Bring them into our reception desk and for a small fee they can be returned to you as good as new. When pruning, it is important that cuts are cleanly made and not ragged or bruised. Dead or unhealthy growth should be removed also all shoots that are rubbing or crossing Shrub roses need little pruning in their first years other than the above. Last years shoots on bush roses should be pruned back to outward facing buds within 5-8cm of the previous years growth, the harder you prune the more vigorous this years growth will be.
Once the weather warms up and the lawns begin to grow it will need its first cut of the season. Set the blades of your mower at the highest setting. Blunt blades will tear the grass that harms it; so make sure your blades are sharp. If moss is a problem apply a moss killer before you rake it, as you will only spread the moss if you rake it first. The lawn will benefit if you rake out the thatch, this is the term used to describe all the dead bits of grass and moss that has accumulated amongst the grass. This particular job can be done with a traditional spring-tine rake or if you have a large area a motorized scarifier is the answer; we have a good selection of both within our extensive tool range. Moss can be a sign of bad drainage so if you didn’t manage to aerate it in the autumns do it now.
Winter rain will have washed plant nutrients from the soil. Replenish with products such as Fish, Blood and Bone or Miracle Grow Plant Food. We need to add extra food to the soil to make sure we have the best from our plants. Roots need air to breath and if you walk on the soil it squeezes the air from tiny spaces within, making it stick, the roots can’t function properly and your plants will not thrive. If you have to work on the garden use a plank of wood or similar to support your weight.
Seed sowing outside can begin later this month. After all your hard work digging during the winter the soil should now be broken down to a fine tilth to create a good seed bed. If the soil sticks to your boots it’s a sure sign that the soil is too wet to be worked and its best left until the conditions are right. This applies to all seedbeds whether its lawns, annual flowers or vegetables. Our range of Unwins and Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds is vast.
Early Potatoes can be planted as soon as the weather permits, if you haven’t purchased yours yet you are not too late, we still have a good selection. For our planting instructions please see our Seed Potatoes Leaflet. Onion sets and shallots should also be planted this month plant the sets in rows 10-15cm apart on well prepared soil.
If you are intending to grow crops in a heated greenhouse purchase your grow bags now. Put them in place in the greenhouse, they will warm up and give your crops a head start.
The border can look very bare at this time of year. For instant colour pop a pot of ready-planted bulbs into a spare space, we have a huge range for just this purpose; it really works to chase away those winter blues. Make sure your pot stands on a paving slab or the like so that you have good drainage from the bottom of the pot.
Bird feeders can also add interest to the garden and we have a wonderful selection on display here at the nursery. Feeding stations should be cleaned regularly and one of our helpful team will advise which cleaning product is most appropriate for your requirements.
We have a dedicated advice centre that is open daily, 7 days a week – do come and chat to one of our experienced team if you have any queries.