Gardens by Ade – Spring Tips

How to grow produce, seasonal tips, pruning and more, our new garden columnist, Ade Sellars, will be sharing his expertise each season. 

With the start of a new year and season, we’re introducing a new garden columnist, Ade Sellars. Last year he gave up a 20 year London television career, to move to rural Suffolk to lead ‘The Good Life’. Not only has he started a gardening business, but has built his dream kitchen garden where he films, photographs and grows produce for several seed companies.

Written by Ade Sellars

Whether you’re guided by the meteorological calendar (1 March) or astronomical calendar (20 March) March means one thing…spring! Vibrant trumpets of daffodils emerge, sounding in the new season. Moods start to lift, green-fingers start to twitch, and gardens stir from their slumber. Mother Nature has called time on winter. Yet, with Jack Frost still lurking in the shadows, it’s good to be prepared. Get things right now, and you’ll be rewarded with a summer bounty of ripe fruit, tasty veg and vibrant blooms.

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If you’re pruning roses, remove any shoots that are dead, damaged or diseased. Shrub roses with flowering shoots should be cut back above a bud by 8-12cms. Climbing roses should be cut back by two thirds, removing old branches at the base, to promote new growth. Ensure all stems are tied to a support. Disturb the soil at the base of the plant, feed with a well-balanced rose feed, and water.

Summer bulbs, such as gladioli and freesias, can be planted now. Plant them in pots or straight into the ground at a depth of two to three times the height of the bulb in well-drained soil. Add grit if necessary, as bulbs don’t like sitting in waterlogged conditions. Place the bulb upright, cover over and water in.

Lawns are ready for their first cut of the season. Nothing drastic, just a trim. Remove weeds, and cut lawn edges with an edging tool. 

If you’re growing potatoes, chitted first earlies can be planted into the ground. If planting into a trench, tubers should be placed to the depth of 12cm, and 30cm apart.  Keep fleece handy, as frost will damage growing foliage. If using growbags, place no more than four seeded tubers on a base of 10cm of soil, and cover over. Place in a sunny spot.

 

Tidy strawberry plants by cutting away old leaves, and apply a general fertiliser. If you’re thinking of growing strawberries, consider bare root varieties. Strawberries grow equally well in containers, pots and hanging baskets.

Early varieties of carrots, beetroot, cabbage and onion sets can be sown. If the soil is too cold, sow in modules, and keep in cold frames and greenhouses, until you’re ready to plant out as young plants.

Whatever you get up to, bear in mind spring’s a fleeting season; take the time to stop, be in the moment and relish new beginnings.

Ade is a freelance presenter, blogger, vlogger, writer and multimedia producer. Whilst a garden presenter on the QVC Channel, he’s also a live speaker, who can host stage garden events. This year he will be appearing at various RHS & other garden shows.

Both Ade and his wife Sophie run the blog, ‘Agents of Field’, which won the GMG Awards “Blog of the Year 2016”. agentsoffield.com/

 

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