Blog
THE place for plants! RIBBLESDALE
Phil’s blog
Home Products Hints News Phil Wild life Railway Gallery Contact About
SPRING There is so much beginning to happen in the garden and so many jobs to do.  The dwarf spring bulbs are showing off, Crocus, Iris, Muscari, Scilla, Chionodoxa and many more all beginning to flower their heads off welcoming in the new season with carpets of colour. Add to these primroses and the new crop of pansies and violas, to give a riot of colour and cheer everyone up. Given the right weather, Pulmonarias, Brunneras, Dicentra, Epimedium and Doronicum will join the long lasting hellebores colouring up borders and shady places. Many of the winter shrubs are beginning to fade a little now, but they are replaced by the bright golden yellow of forsythia and soon ribes and skimmia bringing bright colour and scent too. Daffodils will be decorating the roadsides and all your gardens too although they may not survive to Mother’s day and Easter! As we have been lucky that it has been warm and relatively dry, then it’s time to get into the borders and vegetable plots to cultivate the soil and add the spring fertiliser, which should feed for the whole season. All your cutting back, pruning and tidying should be done now too, before too many plants start to break into leaf. The annual problem of moss in lawns needs to be tackled again, and lawn sand is still the best value product on the market for ease of use and job success. All lawns should have their first light trim and their edges attended to. This gives a good tidy start and makes the season easier. Seed sowing should be under way now, both in the greenhouse and outside. Vegetables seeds in many varieties can be sown outside now and any needing extra heat, along with flower seeds can be sown in the greenhouse. First early potatoes which have been chitting for several weeks now, should be planted by the end of March, along with onion sets and shallots and garlic if not already done. This is a good month to top dress any large patio containers. Scrape off as much compost as possible and replace with fresh, plus a handful of fertiliser to provide season long feed. Any plants that need repotting can be done now, before they grow too much, and as already mentioned there is lots of fresh seasonal colour available to make up new planters. Anyone wanting handing baskets refilled should bring them into the nursery now, so that we can get them in order ready to start planting in late April. My favourite group of plants, the alpines, begin to really get started this month too, being predominately spring flowering species, so there should be colour everywhere to cheer everyone up with the promise of better things to come. Phil Dunnett