Getting your garden ready for spring!

We're proud to support local plant growers in our Herefordshire garden centre

Signs of spring’s imminent arrival are everywhere. Catkins are out, buds in hedgerows are swelling and colourful patches of early spring flowering bulbs are a welcoming sight.

Use what’s left of this shortest month of the year to get ahead and prepare for the main gardening season.

Start digging over seedbeds and cover them with cloches or polythene to warm the soil. Clean tools, seed trays and plant pots and don’t forget to scrub the panes of glass in the greenhouse. With reductions on selected gardening tools there are some bargains to be had.

Turn over compost heaps and it will be ready to use in the spring. First sowings of annual flowers can be made under cloches or in cold greenhouses (Sweet Pea, Cosmos, Antirrhinum, Nicotiana to include a few). You can find these and a lot of other seeds in our indoor garden area. There are some great offers and we now also stock a range of organic seeds.

Chit potato tubers. This will encourage them to sprout short shoots before planting and they will start growing a lot quicker after planting out. Stand the tubers in old egg boxes or seed trays with the blunter/flatter end upwards. Place them somewhere bright, cool and frost free. Call in if you haven’t had a chance to stock up on seed potatoes, onion sets and garlic yet. We have some lovely well known and new varieties in stock.

There’s still time to plant fruit trees and bushes. We have an excellent selection, for planting in containers on the patio or an orchard size tree for larger gardens.

Ask one of our garden centre staff for advice with rootstocks and pollinating groups.

It’s also time to prune Group 2 and 3 Clematis. For G2, shorten last year’s new growth to a pair of strong, healthy buds. G3 is the later flowering group and flowers are produced on same year’s growth, therefore they can be cut back to about 30cm off the ground (leaving the old stems slightly longer will discourage the slugs who love to feast on the new shoots).

Early spring flowering Clematis has now arrived, and we’ve still got some winter flowering evergreen Clematis in stock.

It might be only February but we’re already seeing carpets of snowdrops and hellebores so do make the most of them and enjoy the start of spring.

Hopefully you’ve gained some inspiration from my garden ramblings. Although you’re very welcome to pop over to the garden centre here at Oakchurch Farm Shop to stock up on essential gardening products, everything that we sell is available via our contactless Call & Collect Service. From vegetable and flower seed to greenhouses to grow them in. Just give us a call or email and we’ll drop your order into the boot of your car when you arrive later the same day. 01981 500 125 (option 8) or email

Limited local delivery is also available – please ask for details.

Jane Gillespie

Oakchurch Garden Centre Horticulturalist 

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