Rosie shares her gardening tips and know-how
Lawns: It is probably mild and dry enough now to start mowing your lawn again. Start on a high blade and gradually lower it a little each time you mow. Now is a good time to lay turf before the ground becomes too dry. If you’ve prepared the ground for a new lawn and the weather is not too cold, you can sow grass seed now.
Pruning: Although it is best to prune roses in February, they can be pruned early in March. Cut hydrangeas and buddleias down to one or two strong buds from the main stem. Always try to cut on a slant with the longest part of the cut beside the bud but not too close. Honeysuckle and other similar climbers need to be cut down to about two foot. Penstemons can now be cut down to about six inches.
If you want to control the size of a tree, March is a good time to cut the top branches significantly. This is called pollarding and will also encourage young fresh foliage.
Gooseberries and red and white currant bushes need to be thinned and pruned now. First cut out any dead wood and also one or two of the stems in the centre of the plant if it is looking a little overcrowded. Then prune the side shoots back to two or three buds from the base of the plant, graduating the length of the stems as you cut so that the tallest are in the centre. This then makes a good round shape. Cut about a quarter off all of the tips of the branches.
Pots: Replace the top three or four inches of old compost on your permanently planted pots, with fresh compost mixed with a good portion of horticultural grit which will help enormously with drainage.
Lastly, if you didn’t manage to spread a good layer of mulch or garden compost around your plants and shrubs in the autumn, it is a good time to do this now.