Josie Potter gives us her top tips for the busy Spring season…
Can be such a variable month, early warmth encourages growth but a sudden cold snap can do enormous damage. Frames and cloches are invaluable for giving seedlings protection. Herbs can be sown outside near the kitchen door, over wintered sprouts and cauliflower can be planted outside too. Under glass sow the tender vegetables, French and runner beans, sweet corn and tomatoes. Time also to start planting potatoes, early varieties first!
In the flower garden, plant hardy lilies, montbretias and gladioli. Towards the end of the month, weather permitting, hardy annuals can be sown out in the open.
Prune established roses and remove all dead, diseased and damaged wood, prune the large flowering bush roses more severely than the cluster flowering types.
Hopefully frosts will not damage the fruit blossom, like March this can also be a variable month and a busier one in the garden.
If you use a lot of herbs more can be planted now, sage, sorrel, lovage and thyme. Perhaps try hyssop, angelica and caraway for something different.
Dahlias can go in this month and remember to stake the tall perennials as they grow, it’s easier now than later!
Prune any shrubs that bloomed in the early spring and cut back any overgrown evergreens. Tidy up winter flowering heathers and check roses for the dreaded greenfly!
In the vegetable garden, earth up early potatoes and plant maincrop varieties, plant carrots, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach and turnips.
We should be past having frosts but it’s not unheard of! Weeds will be making their presence felt now so try to keep on top of that particular task, it’s easier whilst they’re not too well rooted.
When tulips have finished flowering move them to spare ground if you can to make room for bedding plants. A good time to order autumn flowering bulbs too.
Continue sowing quick maturing vegetables such as salad crops and summer spinach. Sow also vegetables for winter use, such as sprouting broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. If you like beetroot then sow some this month too.
Remove any suckers from roses and keep on checking for greenfly.
Mow established lawns to keep pace with growth and newly laid lawns when the grass is about 2 inches high.