Start chitting tubers of seed potatoes.

Have you ever tried to stop a potato sprouting? (ie chitting) If anyone can tell me how to stop them I’d be very grateful. You do not, it seems to me, need to lay them carefully in single layers in trays in a cool light frost free place…Just try and keep them unsprouted in a kitchen..

Protect your peach, nectarine and apricot trees with double layers of fleece against frost.

Yes, well maybe (not) – can any half ripened fruit ever be worth that kind of faff?? Do you really really love them and how many did you get last year that were worth a munch?

Hand pollinate above frost protected blossoms with a soft brush..

And – yes, you are right, covering them up will keep pollinating insects away! You will have to cover them then uncover, play being a bee with a paintbrush and then cover them up again. As regularly as the blossom appearing (meaning often)…We have frost into April or May, she adds, cheerfully..

Sow aubergines, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet peppers, chillies in heated environment.

There goes any savings (heat!), should the British climate ever let any of these come to sweet fulfillment…

Divide overgrown clumps of summer flowering herbaceous perennials..

– well I never have and can’t see any cost in not doing. But if you want to know whether to or not, read Noel Kingsbury and Piet Oudolf  ‘Planting – a new perspective when it comes out. There you will get solid, researched evidence about when to or when not to. If you must even think about it.

Use two forks back to back to split the clumps.

I can’t find much use for one fork never mind two and this seems a mad thing to me – where do you stand to try to get leverage?? When I take a bit off a clump because I want more I take an old saw to it and saw a bit off. Smaller clumps – try an old bread knife: one of the best garden tools out.

Encourage helpful insects such as ladybirds, lacewings and bees into your garden by building them their own bug box.

Makes you think, doesn’t it, these poor discouraged insects wandering around, homeless, selling Big Issue, wondering where to go? What on earth did they/do they do without an encouraging bug box?? Fall into a state of terminal depression?

Tie in young delphinium growth to plant supports

Oh, hell, this is miserable stuff. Is it worth trying to grow these elongated extravagances? At the price of having canes or similar sticking up everywhere looking totally ugly? How could they be worth the work and ugly unless delphiniums are your obsession?

Sow hardy annuals direct into beds.

Do people really keep little spaces bare in the borders to organise a little bird feeding this way?  Nasturtiums maybe. That’s it.

Start to spray roses which are susceptible to disease..

And which are not? (well, some – try a rambler in a tree!) This is why people go organic – is this how you want to spend your time – spraying??? For the sake of stalky blobby roses?? Noooooo.

Plant herbs in decorative pots, and keep close to the house so you can reach them easily

That ‘decorative pot’ thing sounds ominous, doesn’t it?? Here comes ugly….. And – plant them? Where are they??? (well, supermarkets do a good job in perfectly ok black plastic pots for your kitchen windowsill)

Sow seeds of the following crops this week if conditions are fine: lettuce and salad leaves, spinach, radish, rocket, watercress, mizuna, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts

No. Not if you paid me.

Trim leggy rosemary bushes to promote bushy new growth

Don’t we also get told not to trim evergreens when frost is still happening for fear of promoting new sappy growth that will get frosted? Not that I’m convinced about that either…

Put up greenhouse shade netting if the sun is out and conditions are hot

Dream on…snow is currently forecast. Could as well say put up greenhouse insulation to keep cold out. No winning is there??

Plant up hanging baskets and patio pots with summer bedding

No – do us all a big favour and just do not do this. Ever. At all. Anywhere.

Hang yellow sticky traps among plants to catch whitefly and other flying pests

and catch your hair in as you bend down to….

Check plants regularly for signs of pests. (are you as bored as I am yet??)

Rake out dead grass from lawns –

Oh, what???

However – 

Mow your lawn – oh, sorry folks, not a bad idea! You can mow up all those leaves you left lying around last year and mulch the borders with them – and the place will generally look spruced up. Like vacuuming the carpet. (And just about as exciting.)

Hellebore flower in bud. 2 jpg


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