With the first tiny daffodils rearing their heads in the flower borders amid masses of purple, white and golden crocuses, it is clear hint that spring is on the way. The garden is beginning to wake up after the winter cold.

It is beautiful but also a reminder that there is much to do in the garden. March is one of the busiest times for any keen gardener. Any remaining dead growth needs to be cleared away quickly, the golden and red branches of dogwood need to be pruned down to enable new growth to take over.

Plant out some pot grown primulas and pansies to fill in corners of the flower beds. Add a little fertiliser in the planting hole and don’t forget to water in the plants to give them a good start.

If you haven’t already pruned your roses and buddelia this should be completed by the end of this month. The grey stems of Russian sage (sometimes known as Perovskia) should be cut back. Clear any debris around strawberry plants and mulch thoroughly.

In the greenhouse, start sowing vegetables such as peas and lettuce in modules. Tomatoes need a long growing period so this is an ideal time to start them off. Plant in propagators as they need some gentle heat to encourage germination. Hardy annual seedlings growing in trays should be re-potted into individual modules and small pots so that they are ready to go out into the garden next month

Out in the vegetable garden, cover some areas with cloches. This will encourage the soil to warm up more quickly. Leave for a few days, then plant the first broad beans, carrots, radish and cabbage. These will grow quite happily under a cloche for the next few weeks and it will encourage the creation of strong plants. Hard work now will soon be rewarded with the first fresh salad crops!