|Step Outside and Start Sprucing Up for Spring|
Fulham Palace Garden Centre offers top tips for winter gardeners
Although the days are still short and cold, they are just beginning to lengthen. The promise of spring is beginning to show with the emergence of early flowering plants such as snowdrops.
Continue to tidy beds and borders, then mulch with compost, well-rotted manure or bark and apply a slow release fertiliser such as bonemeal or fish, blood & bone.
Continue to prune out dead, damaged, or diseased branches from established trees and shrubs in frost-free weather.
Continue to firm in the roots of trees and shrubs that are lifted by frost.
If the weather is suitable you can replace tired looking plants with fresh new ones such as primrose, pansy and viola.
Check that terracotta pots have not cracked in the cold and that any protection such as fleece on more tender plants is still in place.
If not already done, clean and overhaul any machinery, oiling parts and storing under cover.
Choose different paths when crossing the lawn, as continually following the same route will cause compaction.
Avoid walking on your lawn when it is frosty as this will cause damage.
Continue to plant new fruit trees and bushes providing the ground is not frozen or too wet.
Continue to prune apple and pear trees.
Check and firm in all newly planted fruit trees and bushes.
Check the stakes on fruit trees, and tighten or loosen them as necessary, replacing any that are broken.
The Vegetable Garden
It’s a good time to select the varieties you intend to grow during the year. Look back over the successes from last year and decide what didn’t work so well that could be be improved.
Continue to dig over vacant ground and dig in well-rotted manure or compost providing the ground is not too wet or frozen.
Towards the end of the month consider putting up plastic cloches to warm the soil before planting early crops.
Do not water plants too much - only when the compost is dry.
Check plants regularly for pests and disease i.e., moulds and fungus.
Ventilate only on warm days.
Prune grape vines now before the sap rises.
Keep an area of the pond free of ice to help fish to breathe.
Provide food and water for garden birds.
Clean and oil all garden tools.
Check Dahlia tubers, Gladioli and Begonia corms that are being stored and remove any that are rotting.
Fulham Palace Garden Centre is in Bishops Avenue, off Fulham Palace Road and is open monday to Saturday from 9.30am till 5pm and 10am till 4pm on Sunday.
The garden centre is supported by the Fairbridge Garden Society who help to raise the profile of the garden centre and create a sense of loyalty. Members organise a variety of trips and events throughout the year as well as raising money for The Prince's Trust Fairbridge programme.
All profits go the The Prince's Trust.
Contact the centre on 0207 736 2640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.