Weekend Work: Re-plant primrose and polyanthus

What to do

Various forms of primrose and polyanthus can be split and replanted as soon as they finish flowering. Set the new divisions in ground refreshed with bonemeal and compost. Each rosette of leaves can be prised away from the mother clump, with roots attached. Keep the newly planted pieces well watered until they are settled. Wilting plants may be victims of the dreaded vine weevil. Dig up affected plants and search through the roots for the fat white grubs. Then jump on them.

Early flowering shrubs such as forsythia can be pruned, taking out some of the old flowered branches at the base. Over-tall mahonias should also be reduced, by cutting down one or two of the tallest stems by half.

Grass is growing strongly again, but not strongly enough in our garden to gain ground from moss, which had a field day this wet winter. Fortunately, I like moss. If you don't, treat your lawn with a medicine that combines fertiliser with weed and moss killer.

Harden off bedding plants such as petunia and ageratum before planting them out when the weather warms up this month. I have not sown any flower seed outside yet, but with luck we can all catch up this month.

If you put on a thick layer of mulch now, you will be helping the soil to retain the moisture it has accumulated over the winter. A thick layer of organic matter on top of the soil also discourages annual weeds from germinating. Garden compost, mushroom compost (except around shrubs such as rhododendron which hate lime) or a ground bark mulch are all useful. So are untreated lawn mowings.

What to see

Twelve hopeful garden designers have made it through to the last, testing stage of Chris Beardshaw's Mentor programme, but only one can win a scholarship. All 12 will be building gardens at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show which runs from 7-10 May at the Malvern Showground, Worcestershire WR13 6NW and will also have to pitch to a 'Dragon's Den' of professionals at the show's Design for Living Theatre on 7 May. Entry for 7 May (£28) is by advance booking only, call 01684 584900. Tickets for 8 May (£16) and 9-10 May (£14) are available on the gate. For more information about the show, visit threecounties.co.uk/springgardening

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Sales Support - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Internal Sales Executive ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Smart Meter Engineer - Gas and Electric - Dual Fuel

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the installa...

Recruitment Genius: Programme Manager

£30000 - £35500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Provisioning Specialist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Provisioning Specialist is required to join ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum