The spring draws ever closer and hopefully we leave behind the bleakness of recent weeks. It has been a curious winter, with some very precious sunlit days, but the treacherous scything wind has never been faraway and the cold has bullied joint and muscle. How I ached some days. Still we are on the turn, the ground is still sitting wet, but buds are popping, the birds are getting frisky and the days are drawing out. I am doing a bit of rearranging this month, moving a few fairly well established bits to new homes. I have a couple of trees to plant, a rose bush to drop in and I am going to divide my rhubarb. All of this safe in the knowledge that with the rise of the sap and the imminence of new growth everything will settle and repair quickly. I am also going to finish off some pruning, I had hoped to sort a fruit tree out last month, but this month will be fine and I think March is the right month for rose pruning so I will sort it in one go.
This month, I will reopen my connection with the vegetable plot too, running in broad bean and pea seed to extend my over wintered rows and looking to push in the first summer cabbage plants. There is still time to plant onion sets, shallots and garlic too, all of which will take off very quickly. As the month draws on the seed potatoes can be planted out (although I have a few early ones already showing in buckets). As long as you keep up with the earthing up as shoots show, you will get a good start. Mounding up the soil definitely improves the crop. Potatoes are carried on buried shoots and not actually on roots, so the more shoot you bury the greater the potential crop.
On the flower front, perennials are starting to reappear, as are violas, pansies, polyanthus and primroses, these can be dotted to bring a bit of early colour to borders, all are totally hardy, so just stick them in, though do watch for slugs, especially if you have picked up delphiniums (which are much loved by molluscs everywhere).
And finally go through your seed list, as we get to the end of this month, we can push in all sorts of seed and its great prepared when the weather comes right or the mood takes.