VEGETABLES

 

FLOWERS

Plant onion sets. Space the bulbs 10 to 15cm (4-6 inch) apart and 25mm (1 inch) deep with the points just showing above the surface.

 

Sow fast growing plants directly into the soil where you want them to flower.

Sow marrow, courgette and squash seeds in pots and keep them in a heated propagator or sunny windowsill.

 

Tidy bulbs that have died back. Dead head daffodils leaving the leaves to die back naturally to strengthen the bulb.

Continue to sow carrots every couple of weeks. Cover with fleece if any risk of carrot fly. Also make regular sowings of beetroot to ensure a continuing crop.

 

Prepare borders for summer bedding plants. If there is no danger of frost plant out seed-raised half-hardy annuals after hardening off.

Pick rhubarb as required, harvesting little and often rather than all at once. Treat as a ‘cut and come again’ crop.

 

Check the new growth on roses for aphids and spray at the first sign, using an insecticide that does not kill beneficial insects.

Use fleece to protect crops from late frosts.

 

Plant up containers, pots and hanging baskets.

Sow basil into pots and place on a sunny windowsill.

 

Stake and support developing herbaceous plants using twiggy sticks or bamboo canes.

Add fertiliser to the vegetable beds if not already done.

 

Divide primroses after flowering.

Harden off early sown courgettes and French beans.

 

Pinch out fuchsias to encourage bushy growth.

Sow climbing, dwarf and runner beans directly into the ground after preparing the area well.

 

Last chance to plant summer flowering bulbs.

FRUIT

 

LAWNS

Protect blossom from late frosts with fleece.

 

Continue with regular cutting to encourage a denser, thicker lawn.

Tie in any new growth on espalier trained fruit trees.

 

Re-sow any bare patches. Water newly sown lawns if the weather is dry.

Thin fruit from gooseberry bushes to encourage larger fruit. Gooseberries are shallow rooted so keep weeds at bay by shallow hoeing or by applying a mulch.

 

If a fertilizer treatment was applied last month now is the right time to apply weedkillers. Alternatively, a combined ‘feed and weed’ treatment can be applied.

Place straw around early strawberries to keep the fruit clean and free from grey mould.

 

Rake out moss once it is dead. Raking it whilst it is green spreads the spores.

GREENHOUSE

 

GENERAL

Take softwood cuttings of perennials.

 

Continue to hoe weeds.

Continue top prick out any seedlings that are ready into pots and boxes to encourage healthy growth.

 

Watch out for slugs and snails. Use the type of slug pellets that are harmless to birds and pets.

Continue to harden off summer bedding plants. Place them in a cold frame or in the shelter of a south or west facing wall. Cover when frosts are forecast.

 

Clip formal hedges of box, privet and Lonicera nitida. Choose a cool day when the sky is overcast to prevent sun-scorch of cut leaves.

Remove sideshoots, growing at an angle between the main stem and the leaf stem, from tomato plants to concentrate growth in the main shoot.

 

Ensure pots are watered in dry weather.

Take cuttings from the young shoots of pelargoniums, selecting healthy, non-flowering shoots.

 

A pressure washer will remove moss and algae effectively from paths and patios.