Milder and lengthening days, start to herald the first small signs of spring. Although the weather may still be cold and wet, sometimes freezing, snowdrops start to join with sweet violets and bright crocuses as the first signs of colour in the garden.
The sap will soon be rising, and certain shrubs and climbers will need pruning this month if they are to flower their best later in the year. Hedges can be planted now, to give the garden a green frame, and some early vegetables can be sown outdoors.
If you have dug over the ground in early winter, it will now be time to begin breaking it down to a fine tilth ready for sowing - hopefully the frost will have done most of the work for you. It is best to finish off any digging that still needs to be done, as the busy month of March will soon be upon us.
Continue firming any plants lifted by frost and begin trimming established hedges.
Use any spare cloches to warm the ground for seed sowing or alternatively cover the ground with plastic sheeting.
Time spent digging borders, planting hedges, shrubs and herbaceous plants now will ensure you are less busy in March, when the spring rush really begins.
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