Continue to deadhead roses and herbaceous plants and prune rambler roses, wisteria (reducing side shoots to 3-5 leaves).
Tidy up the strawberry bed and propagate new plants from the runners which will have started to root.. Cut out ‘spent’ raspberry canes and tie in new growth about 10cm apart. Summer prune apples, pears and soft fruit such as red and black currants and gooseberries.
This is a good month for sowing grass seed and repairing lawns after a spell of rain but don’t be too hasty the forecast is more dry weather for the first 10 days; cutting hedges and clearing away all crops that have finished producing would be a better use of time.
Spring bulbs ( apart from tulips) can be planted now, plant them twice their depth erring on the deeper side. Try planting 3 different types at different layers in a tub for succession flowering; tulips at the bottom.
Dry off onions in preparation for plaiting them in strings for hanging in a dry place. Begin lifting and storing potatoes as well as maincrop carrots and beetroot. Plant spring cabbage and any late winter cabbage, kale and savoys. By the end of the month pick any remaining tomatoes and place them in a warm place out of the sun to ripen. Sow parsley for a spring crop and lettuce and rocket in the greenhouse. Towards the end of the month, harvest all crops that may be susceptible to frost eg. marrow, squash, pumpkin and maincrop potatoes. Cut down asparagus foliage at the end of the month.
Cuttings from vigorous shrub and climbing roses can be taken, though those from HT roses may be less successful. Take side shoot cuttings from penstemons, wallflowers and pansies which can be planted out next spring. Divide primulas. Harvest fruit as it ripens.