Batches of arum lilies and of lilies-of-the-valley should also be ready for conservatory use. As the days lengthen, more watering will be required. Shorten all straggling growths from plants which have done blooming, and remove them to a slightly warmer position in order to make new growth.
Do not keep hard-wooded plants in a warm conservatory for too long a time, as they like a cooler temperature. If they are obliged to remain, keep them in the coolest part of the house.
Propagation of bedding plants may be effected quickly and easily this month if a hotbed is used, with a temperature of 75° to 8o°. Plenty of cuttings may also be struck without this assistance - notably of perpetual-flowering carnations, placed in moist sand, and of early flowering chrysanthemums. Shade all cuttings from bright sunshine.
Dahlia tubers which were lifted in the previous autumn will give good cuttings shortly if earthed up on benches in a warm house. Where there is no greenhouse, or if it is not desired to increase stock, the tubers may be started in a cool frame, and afterwards be divided and placed in pots or boxes.
Keep the atmosphere of the house moist, and suppress insects as much as possible by the use of the syringe and sponges.
Sowings may be made this month of parsnips, leeks, onions, carrots, beans, peas, radishes, turnips, seakale, asparagus, cauliflowers, savoys, spinach, salsify, chervil, parsley, lettuce, beetroot, and small salads.
Plantings may be made of globe and Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, horseradish, Make up mushroom-beds. New asparagus-beds may be made up with good loam and rich manure before planting in April. Divide and re-plant rhubarb.
Corn salad, or lamb's lettuce, is a much-neglected salading, seeds of which can be sown this month in drills for summer use.
Ground should be prepared for planting potatoes, which can be begun about the middle of the month, and continued until all main and late crops are finished. In cold districts, all sowing and planting is done at a slightly later date, say ten or fourteen days after the time usually indicated.
Plants of lettuce grown in frames should be tied up for blanching.
Seeds may be sown now of tomatoes and marrows in gentle heat, in order to be ready for planting out in May or June. Rid varieties of cucumber may be sown, and seedlings of indoor varieties be planted in well-prepared hotbeds; though these may now be less heated, owing to increasing warmth from outside.
Celeriac should now be sown under glass, and seeds of celery in cold frames for a main crop, planting out the seedlings of earlier sowings in frames.
Potatoes, cauliflowers, carrots, seakale, asparagus, and mushrooms may be had from the forcing-house.
Fruit-trees and bushes can be planted early this month in propitious weather. Mulch and clean the old stock. Finish up any pruning left undone.
The grafting of fruit-trees may also be carried out when the sap has started to flow-freely.
Any fruit-trees which have started in mild weather to come into blossom should be protected with nets, or with old fern fronds tied here and there among the shoots. The ground between the fruit-bushes should be lightly hoed to aerate the soil.
Early grapes should now be making rapid progress. Speaking generally, one lateral should be left to each spur, and one branch of fruit on each lateral, in disbudding. Stop the laterals at the second leaf beyond each bunch.
If the grapes do not set freely of their own accord, the rods should be shaken gently, or a camel-hair brush may be used. The temperature of the vinery at night should be 6o° or 650. This may rise to about 80° at closing-time, when a good moist temperature should be secured by syringing. Late vines will now be breaking their buds.
Peaches should be disbudded, and if the fruits become crowded, some of them should be removed from the under side of the branches. Syringe with soft tepid water morning and evening, and close the house early. Do not let the temperature rise above 500 at night. Re-pot pines in mild weather.
Figs must be pinched back to the fifth leaf, removing the weakest shoots if crowded. Give liquid manure, and use the syringe every day. The night temperature should not exceed 65 °.
Bring out strawberries from cold pits for succession, and feed freely after the fruit has set. Plant out melons in frames, and bring on successional crops in a strong loam soil.