Garden Action

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Know your Potatoes

Seed potatoes are little potatoes primed and ready for growth. A little smaller than an egg, they are grown in disease-free sites. One seed potato will produce one potato plant.

Seed potatoes can be planted straight in the ground but they benefit from being "sprouted" first.

Sprouting involves placing the seed potatoes in warm and light conditions and letting the "eyes" start to sprout green growth. The potatoes are then planted and start growing quickly.

Sprouted potato On the left is a seed potato which has sprouted healthy green shoots and is ready to be planted.

There are a huge number potato varieties so study the catalogues carefully for varieties which suit your taste. Growing New Potatoes is probably best because they are more expensive in the shops compared to old potatoes. Potato shows are a good way of buying lots of different varieties.

If you want to know more about growing potatoes, simply click here to go to our main potato article with a large number of pictures of potato varieties.

Force Rhubarb

It's easy to force rhubarb and you will get really tender stalks much earlier in the season when rhubarb is at it's most expensive. All you need is spare dustbin or large bucket and off you go go.

The rhubarb plant will need to be rested the next year but they take up so little room that this is not really a problem. Click here for our page on forcing rhubarb.

Often neglected but they appreciate a bit of care to make the most of them. Now is the time to clear the base of your hedge and remove all the debris which has collected there over the year. This will expose any over-wintering pests to the frost and kill them, preventing disease later in the year. A mulch with well-rotted compost or grass cuttings will provide food later in the year for your hedge and conserve moisture.


Begonias grown from seed are beautiful annual plants but they do take a long time to grow from seed. Now is the time to start sowing begonia seed either indoors, on your windowsill or in a heated greenhouse.

Click here for lots of helpful hints on sowing and growing begonias from seed.

Lawn Care
Now is a good time to repair any lawn edges which have become damaged. It's easier than you think to do a professional job and we show you (with pictures) how to do it the easy way. Click here for our lawn edge repair page.

Remember to arrange for the lawn mower to be serviced now if was causing any problems last year. It's much cheaper to service it now rather than wait until everyone realises their lawnmower doesn't work in March.