Spring is finally in evidence as daffodils, tulips and blossom on the trees start to appear. If the weather continues to improve this month, take a few moments to enjoy being outside in your own garden as this could be the month that lifts our spirits and encourages us all to get ‘stuck in’ (literally) our own gardens.
- Sow hardy annuals, such as Marigolds, Poppies, Cosmos etc;
- On warm still days, place seedlings that have been started off indoors outside in order to harden them off. Place them outside during the day, but take them in again later in the day before it gets too cold. Repeat this process for about a week or so in order for them to acclimatise;
- Protect the new shoots of hostas and other vulnerable plants from slugs and snails;
- Deadhead spring bulbs and bedding in order that they don’t waste energy setting seed;
- Sweet peas can now be sown outdoors at the base of supports;
- Spray the new leaves of roses with a fungicide to control mildew, rust and blackspot;
- Prune hydrangeas, cutting back the old stems to a healthy shoot lower down;
- Divide and replant mature clumps of hardy perennials;
- Plant Lily bulbs straight into the ground, adding grit at the bottom of the planting hole for drainage on heavy clay soils.
Fruit and veg
- Plant maincrop potatoes;
- Place cardboard collars around the stems of brassicas to deter cabbage root fly from laying their eggs;
- Sow small batches of salad leaves;
- Sow flowering companions in the veg plot, such as pot marigolds and borage;
- Protect emerging seedlings from slugs and snails;
- Sow fast-growing crops, such as radishes, to make the most of any temporary gaps.
- Prick out seedlings growing in pots and trays as soon as they produce their first true leaves;
- Transplant greenhouse tomatoes into growing bags or large containers and tie in the stems to supports;
- Plant up hanging baskets and pots with summer bedding, but keep them inside until after the last frost;
- Sow runner beans, French beans, cucumbers, courgettes etc;
- Clean greenhouse glazing to let in as much light as possible;
- Open greenhouse doors and vents on warm days, to improve air circulation.
- Place a bag of barley straw in ponds to discourage algae and help keep the water clear;
- Lay turf or sow grass seed to create a new lawn and repair damaged patches;
- Keep on top of annual weeds emerging with a hoe as they grow rapidly at this time of year.
- Only hoe on dry days – this way any weeds that you hoe will die off and wilt quickly;
- Treat moss and weeds in turf with lawn weedkiller, and boost growth with a nitrogen-rich lawn feed.