Hints & Tips for Jan/March by David Greaves

It’s time to cut back any side shoots of Wisteria and Campsis to two or three buds, this will encourage growth and flowering. Also cut back any late summer/autumn flowering clematis to the lowest pair of strong buds. 

If you have any pot grown evergreens then water as necessary. In the mild/dry spells mow the lawns on a high blade setting. This is also a good time to put up nesting boxes for birds and renovate deciduous hedges before birds start to nest, make sure that you stagger pruning over two years if the hedge is overgrown. 

There’s still time to prune apple and pear trees and top dress all tree and soft fruit with sulphate of potash. Then prepare any ground for sowing grass seed by digging it over and adding organic matter, level and leave to settle for a few weeks. 

Mulching beds and borders with bulky organic matter such as garden compost or well rotted manure will improve soil moisture retention. 

Shorten your buddleja dcvidii to within two to three pairs of healthy buds as it flowers on new wood. 

To protect young seedlings cover with fleece or cloches during the cold nights. 

Think about what you want for the vegetable patch and direct sow your vegetables such as broad beens, carrots, lettuce, parsnips and peas. 

Prune last seasons growth of Hydrangea paniculata to the lowest pair of strong buds and move evergreen shrubs. It’s also time to plant evergreen hedging such as yew and holly and finally, finish pruning your shrub roses.