March gardening tips: Propagate perennials

Some herbaceous perennials are well into their stride by now, including the hardy geraniums, indispensable, reliable and universally lovely. Just now is a handy time to propagate them, as the young shoots push up. Get an old carving knife, pull away some soil at the edge of the crown, and slice away little groups of shoots with roots attached. Push the soil back, and there’s no harm done. Line the plantlets out nursery fashion, firm, label and hoe, and they will make rapid progress for future use as extra plants or gifts, if you can bear to part with them.