Spring Gardening

Kick-start your planting ready for spring

At this time of the year, it is usually a quiet time for the gardener considering planting in a garden but not for those who have a greenhouse or a sunny windowsill. One of the big joys of greenhouse gardening is that you can sow and grow exactly what you want safe in the knowledge that the young plants will not suffer in late frosts. Of course, in really cold weather a heater will need to be used in the greenhouse so that the plants will germinate.

Some plants can be planted straight into the garden such as bare root fruit trees. They lie dormant through the winter months, so early spring is a good time to plant them. Make sure the soil is not waterlogged or frozen and dig in some good quality fertiliser to give them a start. Bare root roses in the same way lie dormant and so can confidently be planted out in a sunny spot.

If you want colourful bedding plants ready for flower beds and pots, now is the right time to sow seeds of geraniums and begonias in prepared seed trays in the greenhouse. Remember to check them regularly as they will need watering every couple of days, more frequently if the greenhouse is heated. If you want to inject a little colour into the garden now it is not too late to plant some winter flowering plants such as pansies as they should continue flowering into the spring.

Should you be interested in growing vegetables in your garden then the best ones to start off in the greenhouse are broad beans and brassicas. Broad beans are particularly good to grow and can be planted out about six weeks after sowing. They will help to enrich the soil for future planting. Cabbage and cauliflower seeds sown now will be able to be planted out yielding an early crop. There is nothing nicer than eating your own produce from the garden which is why if you have space in the garden it is a good idea to grow your own vegetables and salad.

If you are not fortunate enough to have the use of a greenhouse, a sunny windowsill can be used to start seeds off. Once the seedlings start to grow they can be pricked out and put in separate pots or seedling trays ready to be grown on until it is warm enough to plant out.