Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Preparing for Spring

 ALTHOUGH the weather may be cold, it's great to get out on a fine day and enjoy a tidy up around the garden in preparation for spring.

Drains may be dug to cope with water-logged areas and repairs to outdoor structures and pathways carried out. Remove seedling weeds in flowerbeds and apply a top-dress of home produced compost or wood chippings to improve the soil condition and reduce water loss later in the season.

Prepare seed beds in the vegetable garden, when conditions permit, for early sowings.

If you raise your own plants from seed in the glasshouse it's time now to clean out the glasshouse, wash all seed trays and pots and wash down all tables, staging and glass. This will help prevent spread of fungal diseases when the plants are at their early stages of growth.

If you don't have a glasshouse and want to raise some plants from seed, windowsill propagators are the answer. Happy sowing!

Plant up beds with Wallflower and Sweet William and keep the beds weed free. Check newly transplanted trees, shrubs and young plants for wind rock and firm in any that have become loosened.

Dahlia tubers and gladioli corms should be checked for rotting and fungal diseases.

Fill the house with pots of Hyacinths and miniature daffodils that have been forced for flowering indoors to create a fragrant scent around your home and give the feeling that spring is just around the corner. Hamamelis or witch hazels are one of the most popular winter flowering shrubs or small tree.

These deciduous plants are grown for their autumn colour and most importantly their strongly scented bloom. They flourish in full sun to semi-shade on a peaty acid soil.