Now is the time to think ahead. If you have a conservatory, greenhouse, cold frame or even a windowsill start sowing seeds so you can have sturdy plants to put into the garden late spring. Aster, cosmos, celosia, dahlia, petunia and salvia can be started now for summer and autumn border colour.
Now the slower winter months have passed, you can even sow outside if the soil is warm enough but you will need to protect new growth from a heavy frost or snow with fleece or a cloche. Sow hardy annual seeds straight into a sunny border or pots outside. Clarkia, sunflowers, stocks, poppies and cornflowers are all hardy annuals also try some wildflower seed mixtures into raked soil in a sunny position - great for bees and butterflies and add beautiful colour too. Chance some sweet peas seeds directly into a bed outdoors later in the month but don’t forget to provide support when seedlings emerge and start to climb.
Last chance for bare root roses, fruit trees and currant bushes - don’t leave it much later in the month as they need time to establish. As soon as the frosts have gone get some onion, garlic and shallot sets planted with some carrots between the garlic it will stop carrot fly! Overwintered broad beans and peas start making really good headway and establishing themselves for an early crop and plant more peas directly now.
Spring usually arrives by mid-March and the frequent sunny days provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. It's time to get busy preparing seed beds, sowing seed, cutting back winter shrubs, planting summer bulbs and generally tidying up around the garden. Towards the end of March give lawns a good feed on a warm day after there has been a spell of rain and the soil is moist, but the grass dry. This will provide growth to withstand any later drought.
Gardens are special peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed or under pressure. They make us feel better – that's a fact – and the real magic is that anyone, anywhere can enjoy their healing power!