Summer benefits from winters garden and greenhouse work

Britains garden and greenhouse owners will see the benefits in summer if they put the work in now, it has been claimed.

A number of things can be done to ensure you are perfectly prepared for the growing season, according to the Royal Horticultural Society.

Now is a good time to sit in the greenhouse and flick through the various seed catalogues on offer, choosing which seeds and bulbs to grow in March and April.

Once these have been chosen and ordered, it is time to prepare the soil for their arrival, although this should only be done when the earth is dry to avoid compacting it further.

Remove any old crops and throw them on the compost heap to rot and provide vital nutrients for future use.

This will also create space for the new plants to grow and allow them to flourish without having to compete for room.

When this is done, turn the soil over and mix in some organic matter to improve the condition and ensure the earth is as hospitable as possible for the new plants.

The Wokingham Times suggests planting lilies and Du Caen anemones in March, but explained that "tender bulbs" such as eucomis and gladioli should wait until April.