Early spring is a good time for planting and transplanting ever green trees as they havent started growing actively yet and wont suffer from transplant shock. Take a good look at the shrubs in your garden. If a shrub has outgrown its space, cut it back or take it out and replace it with a new plant. New shrubs are always coming on the market and a regular visit to your nursery to keep you up to date. Make softwood cuttings of marguerite daisies and fuchsias . Use the appropriate hormone powder and root cuttings in a sand and compost mix, which must be kept moist but not soggy.
Remember to prune flowering trees such as the flowering peach, almond and cheery as soon as they have finished flowering. Start clipping topiary subjects as growth can be very fast in spring. Fertilize hydrangea and camellias with special hydrangea food for blue flowers, mulch and water well. Feed pink hydrangeas with special pink hydrangea food and add a handful of agricultural lime to the soil to make alkaline if the colour is not intense enough to your liking. Keep a look out for garden pests such as the amaryllis, caterpillars, and deal with them before the multiply. Spray the defected plants with the systematic insecticide or if you are not squeamish remove the caterpillars by hand. Italian cypress aphids are generally only active during winter months, so give your conifers one last, good application of systemic insecticide or organic remedy.
Start with a regular spraying programme against aphids, mildew, black spot, and rust. You can use a commercially available pesticide and fungicide, or mix your own homemade organic remedy.
Feed the lawn once a month with a special lawn fertilizer like 3:2:1 at a rate of 60g/m. Start watering the lawn regularly during dry weather, and mow when necessary.
Water all shrubs, climbers and trees thoroughly, especially during dry weather.
Shrubs that were affected by frost can now be tidied up by removing all the dead or damaged wood. Feed with 3:1:5 fertiliser at rate of 50g per plant, and mulch to encourage new growth. Water at least once a week in dry weather.
Feed roses with special rose fertliser once a month and water deeply once a week.
Feed roses with a general fertilizer like 3:1:5 a rate of 30g per brush, and water well. Keep roses well mulched.
Sow summer- flowering annuals like agrostemmas, alyssums, amaranthuses, asters, begonias, balsm, cleomes, Californian poppies, celosias, coleus, cornflowers, cosmos, sunflowers, pinks, sweet Williams impatiens, feverfew, Queen Annes Lace, lobelias, Marigolds, pentunias, phloxes, rubeckias, salvias, torenias, zinnias and nicotianas.
Clavias are in full flower this month and will be available of nurseries and garden centres. Brighten up a shady spot in plants together. They can also be successfully grown from seeds. Collect the seeds as soon as they turn deep red, remove the fleshy coat and sow immediately in deep pans filled with sowing be left undisturbed for several years, and flower better when watered sparingly during water.
Palnt summer flowering bulbs such as arum lilies, gloriosas and any others that were not planted last month.
Continue pulling up all winter flowering and prepare beds for summer flowering annuals by digging in lots of compost and fertilizer.
Water rises regularly
Check for slugs and snails on newly planted annuals, and put out bait in the rate afternoon after watering.
With the warmer weather on the way comes the inevitable crop of weeds, which must be dealt with promptly before they flower and produce seed, spot- treat weeds like grasses in between rocks with an appropriate herbicide. There is a well known expression among gardeners: One seasons weed is seven years weeding so keep them under contol.
Continue reporting plants that have become pot- bound . A general rule is always to transfer plants to pots just one size up. Ensure that there is adequate drainage: Place a layer of pebbles followed by a layer of coarse sand over the drainage holes to prevent them from getting blocked and the potting mix from running out. For a good potting mix that retains water but drains well, mix one part sand and one part peat or compost and two parts good loam, with 30g 2:3:2 general fertilizer added to each bucketful of the mixture. Add some peat when lanting ferns or cold loving plants.
Divide and repot cymbidlium orchids when they have finished flowering if necessary, do this only if plants are not growing vigorously and look stunted. First soak the plant in water and then turn it out of its container. Untangle the roots and divide the plant so that each division has at least three mature pseudobulbs with length. Trim the roots by removing about a third of the root length. Replant the bulbs in a not- too- large pot as they say like a tight fit. Bulbs without leaves can be repotted in separate, smaller pots.
When repotting your plants, remember not to fill pots to the rim with potting soil, leave enough space to allow you to water the plant sufficiently without the pot overflowing .
Water all container plants regularly as soon as the weather starts to warm up and feed with a liquid fertilizer every second week,
Sow asparagus, beans beetroot, carrots, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, pepper, radishes, melons, pumpkins and vegetables marrows and plant seed potatoes. Seed potatoes are usually available at garden centres at this time of the year, but you can also use small potatoes that have started to sprout.
Sow seeds of annuals and perennial herbs like cherville, dill, borage, mustard, caraway, coriander, fennel basil anise chives, angelica, tarragon, marjoram, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sorrel rue and thyme.
Continue watering vegetables regularly and feeding them with a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
Spray tomato plants against blight once a week
Feed bananas and figs with general fertilizer like 3:1:5 at a rate of 200g per plant, and water well.
Put out fruity fly and codling moth on fruit trees and start spraying once the petals on the blossoms have dropped off. Codling moths can cause a lot of damage to fruit. They lay their eggs on the developing fruit and leaves of the fruit trees, their pink coloured larvae then bore into the fruit, causing them to rot.
Start thinning out peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots when the fruits are the size of a large pea. A good rule of thumb is to leave a space as wide as your hand between fruits.