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Greenhouse and House Plants
- Greenhouse peach trees should have the first flowers gently pollinated with a small soft paintbrush or by vigorously tapping on the support wires. A nice sunny day is best. It is not necessary to get every flower pollinated – about five percent will give a good crop.
- Water a grapevine well to get it moving … early growth means earlier and better ripening.
- Sow seeds of tomatoes for greenhouse growing, also peppers and chillies.
- Continue to increase watering and begin light feeding as plants begin to grow.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
- Buds are already starting to swell on fruit trees and bushes, so any new trees or bushes should be planted within the next few weeks.
- Pruning of apple and pear trees and blackcurrant bushes should be completed as soon as possible.
- Plant garlic and shallots sets without delay if the ground is dry enough to cultivate.
- Sow vegetables such as early peas, broad beans, onions and parsnips outdoors.
- Sow seeds of early varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce and onions in a tunnel or glasshouse to get a start on the season.
- Early mowing is a great start to the season for the lawn and avoids having to cut it down hard in a few weeks time.
- One cut now, if not already done, and another in three or four weeks will leave the lawn area looking neat and tidy before growth really starts.
- Apply lawn mosskiller if there is heavy moss growth. If new areas of lawn are to be sown, the ground should be cultivated if possible. If there are weeds present, these could be sprayed off first with Roundup.
- Perennial flowers are showing signs of growth in ‘some cases’ and lifting and dividing of herbaceous flowers can continue, especially on heavy soil when it might have been impossible earlier.
- This is also the time to move grasses which generally do not like to be disturbed in autumn.
- Watch for signs of slug and snail damage to the emerging shoots of perennial flowers.
- Dahlia, begonia and gloxinia tubers can be started in a greenhouse, or on a windowsill indoors. Set the tubers lightly onto moist compost in a seed tray or small pot. Be careful not to over-water because the tubers are likely to rot in cold, wet compost.
- Seeds of geraniums, lobelia, busy lizzie and bedding begonias can be sown in a heated propagator.
Trees, Shrubs and Roses
- Check that young trees are securely tied against spring gales so they do not get rocked in the ground.
- Check that young trees have not formed a fork with rival lead shoots – remove one shoot if necessary.
- Bush roses normally show some growth by now and they, and repeat-flowering climbers, should be pruned in the next two weeks, if not already done.
- Rose bushes can be planted at any time. Most roses sold now have been potted up – they cost a bit more but get off to a better start.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
- When the soil dries enough in the coming weeks, sow early vegetables outdoors, such as garlic, shallots, early peas, broad beans and onions.
- Tidy up old rhubarb crowns and remove weeds. Lift rhubarb for forcing in doors if you like birhg red sticks.
- Early potato varieties can be placed in a bright place indoors, or greenhouse, to sprout which aids earlier cropping.
- Sow seeds of early varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce and onions in a tunnel or glasshouse for early crops.
- New fruit trees should be planted as soon as possible.
- Pruning of apple and pear trees and blackcurrant bushes should be completed within a couple of weeks.