Your gardening year starts here! Now that we are starting to see the back of the beast from the east, it's time to get on with all there is to do in the garden this month!
It can be hard to know where to start – there are seeds to sow, plants to get in the ground, and of course all those gorgeous spring blossoms to enjoy, so we've compiled an easy to follow list, dividing up different tasks for different parts of your garden...
- Get your slug defences in place now to protect emerging seedlings and young plants. You’ll find wildlife-friendly slug pellets, barriers and other solutions to keep them at bay here at the garden centre.
- Mulch beds and borders with a general-purpose slow release fertiliser, scattering the pellets over the surface of the soil then gently forking them in.
- Start hoeing weeds weekly to catch annual weeds the moment they appear so they never get big enough to bother you or your plants.
- When it gets warmer, start using ponds and fountains again and remove pond heaters.
- On warm days, open the greenhouse or conservatory doors and vents and keep a look out for fungal diseases.
- On dry days, start mowing the lawn again but keep blades on highest setting.
- Dead head spring bulbs as soon as the flowers go over, so the plants don’t waste their energy producing seed instead of bulking up bulbs for an even better display next year.
- Prune hydrangeas by cutting back old flowerheads to the first pair of strong buds. While you’re at it, cut out up to a third of the oldest stems to keep plants youthful and vigorous.
- Deadhead daffodils then let the foliage die down naturally so it feeds the bulb and produces an even better display next year.
- Finish pruning roses and feed rose bushes.
- Steep freshly-cut nettles in water for a few weeks and decant the rich brown liquid for a potent, nitrogen-rich plant food.
- Sow sweet peas outdoors, planting two or three seeds at the foot of each cane in a wigwam or obelisk.
- Prune back autumn flowering clematis and lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials.
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs.
- Plant onion sets in a sunny, well-drained spot with the neck of each bulb just above the soil, allowing 12-15cm between each bulb.
- Sow hardy veg direct into well-prepared soil: lettuces, parsnips, turnips, beetroot, early peas and chard can all go in now, with a cloche over the row for a while to keep off any bad weather.
- Pot on tomato seedlings as they grow, moving them into a pot one size up so their roots have room to spread out and there’s no check in growth.
- Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes - Plant onion sets around 10cm apart, sinking the sets just below the soil’s surface.
- In warmer areas, spray Peaches and Nectarines to help control Peach leaf curl.