Credit: by Barbra Fairclough, Internationaal Bloembollen Centrum Hillegom, Holland.
Dig out your seed-starting trays and check for any new items you may need this year to start your seeds. A soil thermometer is useful for taking the guesswork out of soil temperature.
Grow sprouts indoors for a garden-fresh salad.
Avoid disease when seeding indoors. Wash previously used containers in a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water.
Make sure seedlings have good light, warmth and air circulation. A bay window is a good location if it is warm enough, but if you need more light, try adding fluorescent full-spectrum light.
Grow sprouts indoor for a garden-fresh salad
The earliest plants to bloom will be those in protected areas, such as bulbs that have been planted next to the foundation of your home. Tulips work well here. The house creates a thermal effect that warms the nearby soil, which is further warmed if the area gets afternoon sun. If this area is under an eave, remember to keep the plants watered.
In coastal gardens observe where there is standing water. These will be the last areas you can work in the spring.
Prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Ensure you have completed pruning while plants are still dormant. Sharpened secateurs (pruners) will make an easy job of this. If the stem is thicker than your baby finger, consider using a pair of loppers.