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The ground is warming up and so over this month and next month a lot of the spring planting, moving and dividing needs to be done before the hotter, drier weather sets in.
The jobs to be done are generally about the same as those in the UK.
Sow half hardy annuals
If it is fairly warm sow half hardy annuals now. If it is still cold wait until next month. Begonia, verbena and salvia are all good choices.
Now is the time to plant summer-flowering bulbs. Bulbs, corms and tubers such as anemone and gladioli all add striking colour and are also useful in the cutting garden. Scented lillies should be dotted around the garden so that you can smell their delicious scent throughout the garden.
These should be divided 'in the green', divide straight after flowering.
Finish pruning roses.
Make sure there are no weeds or plants immediately around the base of the rose plant.
Plant bare - rooted roses
Add a fertiliser rich in nitrogen and potassium to your roses. Hoe into the soil at the base. Think of your peonies at the same time.
Now is the time to trim lavender bushes before spring growth gets under way. Curry plants (Helichrysum italicum) can be treated the same. Trim into a ball but be careful not to trim down to the old wood at the base as new growth will not form from here.
If you have not already now is the time to prune late-flowering (group 3) clematis. Prune each stem back close to the ground.
Now is a good time to divide perennials.
To divide, dig up the whole clump, and divide into smaller pieces. Either tease the clump apart or cut using a spade. Replant in groups of three or five for good displays the following year.
In the Potager
Buy seed potatoes, place upright in an old egg box and leave, in a cool, bright position, to sprout.
If the ground is not cold and wet plant onions and shallots.
Think of sowing a row or two of flowers into your vegetable garden. These not only make the garden look more attractive and provide flowers for the house but they camouflage your vegetables from predator insects insects to the potager. Cosmos, sunflowers, sweet peas are all useful. The smell of the flowers can also stop non beneficial insects from spotting your veg. French marigolds (Tagetes) are good at deterring cabbage butterflies from cabages and produce a root secretion that destroys root-eating nematodes.
Cover the ground around strawberry plants with a good mulch of clean dry straw.
Sow peas. Rake the earth to a fine tilth and plant the peas at a depth of about 3cm, 5cm apart. Water copiously. Growth starts even quicker if you soak the peas overnight before planting.
In a propogater or warm windowsill sow chillies now. These taste great and the plants are very decorative too.
What to do in the garden next month