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Pruning, sowing and feeding

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Daniel Hoggins, Posted: Monday, 26th February 2024, 09:00

Spring is in the air and with the promise of some warmer weather, the garden is set to get growing.

Among the many animals emerging into your garden from their hibernation, March sees the return of many people who have a new-found enthusiasm for gardening after the long winter. It is, therefore, the perfect time to consider reinvigorating your borders ahead of the new season.

Reimagining the planting in your garden is a fantastic way to get to know the plants you have and really think about your space, as well as, of course, being a great excuse to buy in some new varieties.

Digging up to divide or move your plants

Now is the perfect time to dig up and divide any herbaceous perennials. You could consider doing this if the plant has become too crowded and is in need of more space, or if you would simply like more of it elsewhere in the garden and it is big enough to take a bit of manhandling. All it takes to divide a plant is for you to dig it up and separate it into two or more pieces, ensuring that each has enough root on it to continue growing when you have replanted it.

Once dug up, some plants such as sedums, yarrow and primroses will easily tease apart with your fingers into many little plants; while more compact perennials like agapanthus, Solomon’s seal and asters will take a spade to slice through. But, in any case, you can usually judge it on how dense the root clump is.

Some suitable for moving – not dividing

Likewise, certain perennials such as lupins and delphiniums rely on more singular tap roots and are best not divided, but can easily be dug up and moved around the garden.

It could be that certain plants aren’t flourishing where they are or that they’re not being appreciated enough in a more out of sight area. Whatever the case, there’s no reason why they can’t be moved and now is the perfect time of year to do it. So, with the confidence to transplant and the very affordable small potted perennials beginning to be stocked in the garden centres, now’s the perfect opportunity to freshen up your borders on a budget.

Think before you plant

As well as this, another important job that can be done at the moment includes cutting back dogwood after its winter display. I like to cut it back quite low to the ground, as it is the new growth that will shine with most colour come next winter.

With the ground still cold it isn’t advisable to plant out anything tender at the moment, but tomatoes, broad beans, lettuce, spinach and radish can all be sown under cover.

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