Fulham Horticultural Society member Sarah Finn

Handy spring gardening tips from Fulham Horticultural Society

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Image captionFulham Horticultural Society member Sarah Finn

Preparation and planning are the keys to gardening success. And with spring on its way the gardening gurus at the Fulham Horticultural Society are already planning a season of events, culminating in its open Autumn Show in September.

Visit the FHS website to join the society or find out more about the Autumn Show on 9 September. The Society’s green-fingered efforts are welcomed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, who are determined to make the borough the greenest in the country.

And in the meantime the FHS – which was established in 1924 – has offered these helpful seasonal tips for making the most of gardens, pots and window boxes this month.

Image caption: Young strawberry plants ready to be planted

Fulham Horticultural Society’s early spring to-do list:

  1. Plant out early cultivars of potatoes as soon as possible and follow on planting out at regular intervals with the second earlies and first main crops until the end of the month.

  2. Sow rows in the open ground seeds of round seeded spinach, Swiss chard, early types of beetroot, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, spring onions, peas, broad beans and turnips. Try sowing the seed of the white form of kohlrabi towards the end of the month.

  3. Plant out onion sets, shallots and garlic before they start to produce shoots. When buying make sure to reject any that are shooting as they will only bolt during the summer. 

  4. If you have the protection of a greenhouse sow the seeds of celery, celeriac, French beans, and cauliflowers to transplant on the open soil next month.

  5. Clear the old leaves off strawberry plants and clean up the ground in between the plants before giving them a top dressing of a general fertiliser. Keep some fleece handy to protect the developing strawberry flowers from frost. Any frost-damaged flowers are easily identified as they display a tell-tale ‘black eye’ at the centre of the dead flower.

  6. Cover rhubarb with large pots or buckets to exclude light and force an earlier crop.

  7. Try using copper piping from a plumber’s merchant to enclose a cabbage patch – apparently not a single slug and snail will cross the boundary throughout the entire growing season. Check first that there are none inside the enclosure before you start, and that there are no overhanging leaves that make a handy bridge. 

Image caption: Plant out garlic before any shoots appear

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