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This month's gardening tips

This month's gardening tips by Ness Botanic Gardens

  • Keep holding your nerve and don't cut down perennials; many look pretty and they are food and shelter for wildlife in the winter.
  • Remember to provide clean water for wildlife to drink and to top up bird feeders.
  • Now is a good time to start planning where you could grow some wildflowers - empty patch in a bed or in a pot perhaps. Cheap and easy from seed sown in March/April and loved by bees!
  • This is your last chance to take hardwood cuttings of ornamental shrubs and fruit bushes like currants, gooseberries.  Check hardwood cuttings taken last year. They may need planting out or potting on.
  • Aim to finish planting any new trees and shrubs by the end of the month so they have time to settle in before the growing season.
  • Try and finish any pruning of deciduous trees and hedges this month.  Leave evergreens and tender plants and Prunus species until May
  • Finish winter pruning of untrained apples, pears, quinces and medlars. Vines, gooseberries, blueberries and currants should also be pruned.
  • Clear up weedy beds before mulching or covering a weed proof membrane (not plastic!) ready for sowing and planting.
  • Don't forget about houseplants! Light levels are low so make sure they are on sunny windowsills and out of draughts.  Most won't be in growth so go easy on the watering they just need to be kept damp and most won't need feeding until next month.
  • Don't forget to open windows (house, greenhouse and cold frames) on sunny days; plants like some fresh air too!

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