• Tips for April 2019 March 28, 2019 by Jim Buttress

    Trim Lavender. Take out old flower stems and shorten shoots by 2.5cm if not done last Autumn.

    Plant summer flowering bulbs and corms such as gladiolus, eucomis, lillies and werines.

    Plant soft neck garlic such as “Picardy Wight” until the end of April. Softnecks have no flowering spikes and often have more cloves top a bulb than hard neck types.

    Divide agapanthus if flowering has declined in containers, replanting into fresh John Innes No 2 with added grit.

    Plant chitted potato tubers this month, starting with first earlies through to main crops at the end of the month.

    As day temperature rise open greenhouse doors and vents, closing at night.

    Plant wild flower plug plants into unfertilised grassed areas for naturalistic effect.

    Complete the planting of onion sets.

    Divide snowdrops as they die back. Plant bulbs singly at the same depth at which they were grown before .

    Sow outside seeds of main crop peas, broad beans , beetroot, spinach, radish, carrot and parsnips.

  • Tips for March 19 February 28, 2019 by Jim Buttress

    Complete rose pruning this month. Feed plants afterwards with a general purpose or proprietary rose feed, mulch with garden compost or manure.

    Weed around the base of young fruit trees, by hand to avoid root damage and mulch to conserve soil moisture.

    Remove the top 1-2 ins of old compost from permanent pot plants and top dress with fresh compost.

    Plant garlic and shallots before the middle of the month. Wait until the end of the month before planting out onion sets.

    Dead head daffodils as the flowers fade but allow foliage to die back naturally.

    Start dahlias into active growth. Pot healthy firm tubers into 3 litre pots of multipurpose compost. Water sparingly and keep free of frost.

    Renovate overgrown climbers such as honey suckle by cutting back as low as 2 ft.

    Plant rhubarb and asparagus.

    Prune blueberries. Remove a few older stems at their point of origin.

    Prepare trenches for runner beans with well rotted compost or manure and shredded paper in the base.

  • Tips for February 2019 January 30, 2019 by Jim Buttress

    Prune autumn fruiting raspberry canes. Cut the canes down to ground level.

    Cut back late summer and autumn flowering clematis to 30cm from ground level.

    Sow broad beans 5-7cm deep directly in the garden or in pots of multipurpose potting compost.

    Prune Wisteria and Campsis by cutting back the side shoots around 2.5 to 5cm to two or three buds.

    Plant rhubarb crowns, shallots, garlic and jerusalem artichokes until March, provided no frost.

    Lift and divide snowdrops “in the green” once they finish flowering.

    Set early seed potatoes up for chitting, ready for planting out in March. Place potatoes eye end up in egg cartons or trays on window sill.

    Prune summer-flowering deciduous shrubs that flower on the crrent years growth such as Buddleia, Hygrangea, Lavateria and deciduous Ceaothus.

    Spray dormant fruit trees and bushes with a plant oil based winter wash.

    Protect blossom on apricots, nectarines and peaches from frosts with horticultural fleece.