Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Spring Snowdrops

I write this month’s diary to the sound of a birdsong, with warm sunshine streaming through the office window. Fantastic! After a dark and dreary winter, it looks like spring is finally its way and that’s great news for us all! It is amazing how sunshine and a little warmth lifts the spirits, add the signs of plant growth all around us and you can almost feel the energy bursting out from the earth. It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to rush outdoors and start seed sowing – but you would be well advised to wait. After a cold wet winter, it is going to take a long time for the soil to warm, particularly if you garden on heavy clay. By all means, make basic preparations for creating a seed bed by roughly raking the ground, if the surface is dry enough, then cover it with a sheet of plastic to warm. It is also worth investing in a soil thermometer, to make sure the soil is warm enough to sow. Remember too, that, according to country law, March either ‘comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb’ or vice versa, so plan your seed sowing accordingly!
Once snowdrops have finished flowering, they can be replanted while ‘in the green’, a job which is usually done in February but continues into March, depending on the variety and the season. Select clumps which have been at their best when flowering, if you leave the clump for another year,