Gardeners’ World – March 2024

It has been an extremely wet winter, almost impossible to get on the ground, but a good time to re-plan the garden and to experiment with contrasting shapes, textures and colours. Gardens never stand still and always need re-thinking. Snowdrops are finishing and this is the best time to split them ‘in the green’ when they transplant much better than growing from bulbs. Divide large clumps into roughly 5-6 bulbs and plant them covering the white part of the stem.

Hellebores are in full flower. Cut down their leaves to the base to see the flowers properly, this will also help to eradicate the virus which they may get that causes brown blotches on their leaves. Leave them to set seed, save some. Pot them up and in two years you will have new plants for free.

It is time to sow sweet peas. Put 4 seeds in a pot and transplant them against a trellis or wigwam of bamboo or twigs. For larger flowers and longer stems, plant them individually. I have planted half my broad beans in pots in the greenhouse for an early crop and will plant the rest next month directly into the ground, then they will be ready at different times. Early potatoes need chitting now in a frost-free shed or garage ready to plant in April.