Garden notes

For a fragrant display in late winter, sow sweet pea seeds

Contributing garden editor Marianne Alexander’s handy checklist of essential chores to do in March:

Pull out tatty summer annuals and add to the compost heap. Prepare empty beds for spring annuals and bulbs by loosening the soil to a depth of 30cm, turning in compost, superphosphate, (a good fistful to each square metre) and a sprinkle of hoof and horn (slow- release nitrogen) and bonemeal (phosphate).

Start cutting the lawn shorter as temperatures drop and the days shorten at the end of the month. Feed with 2:3:4 or 3:1:5 fertiliser. If your lawn was infested with winter grass (Poa annua) last year, spray with Kerb, a pre-emergence seed inhibitor.