Green Fingers in early Spring
Down at Caves Folly Nursery in Colwall, the promise of spring is keeping Bridget busy.
My first day of opening at the nursery last month was snowed off, so things can only get better! With warmer weather ahead there are lots of treats to look forward to.
The rich colours and evening scents, lush greenery and that wonderful smell of the natural world exploding into life. Wildlife will be emerging and bringing their offspring into the world.
April is a good time to give the garden pond a bit of a gentle clean up. Get rid of too much invasive weed on the surface and plant any new marginal plants, and oxygenating weed. Always put any weeds that you have fished out on the side of the pond so that any wildlife can crawl back in.
Major clearing out of ponds is best done in December or January. Ponds attract so much wildlife to the garden. Even a small washing up bowl sunk into the border can attract so many insects, birds, bats and toads and frogs. Always put some stones in a steep sided water feature to enable creatures to climb out.
Now is the time to sow annuals, wildflowers and vegetables into the warmer soil. Take basal cuttings of herbaceous perennials such as Delphinium, Phlox and Helenium. Prune hardy fuchsia, lavender, penstemon back to healthy buds.
Prune winter stems such as Cornus and Salix back to just above the previous year’s growth (10cm from the ground). Plant out sweet peas.
Slugs love all that soft new growth, so reduce slug damage by using nematodes and organic slug pellets.
Sow seed of quick maturing vegetables to provide tasty additions over the next few weeks. Baby carrots, radish, spinach, lettuce and salad leaves. Watch out for late frosts, cover with fleece at night. Plant out chitted potatoes, harvest asparagus and pot up tomato and pepper seedlings. Grow on in pots until they have a good sturdy root system to plant out.
Relax your lawn. Add wildflower plugs and let an area of grass grow long.
Garden birds still need feeding. Check the bird feeders are cleaned. Avoid putting out large chunky food as the nesting season has begun. Leave cutting hedges and stop strimming everything so short.
Bridget runs Caves Folly Nurseries on Evendine Lane in Colwall (WR13 6DX). They are open from March until October, Thursdays to Saturdays from 10 - 4. You can contact them on 01684 540631 or visit their website: