Gardening Tips

The weather is warming up, daytime temperatures are nearly always above 10°C, but cold grey weather is not unusual; showers of sleet or snow are not uncommon and night frosts can be expected during the month so beware planting out tender plants until threat of frost has passed.

After winter the soil will be low on nutrients as most will have been washed out by the rain, to ensure a good crop this year,
it will require manure and fertilizers to be applied. Good general fertilizers are:- Blood, fish and bone, also Growmore, and don’t forget to mulch were possible with well rotted manure.

Lawns:-Mow, aerate, apply spring fertilizer and scarify. Apply selective weed killers and moss treatments.

Lawn mowings, do not compost if you have used selective weed killers on your lawn, they linger in the compost
and will have a detrimental effect on your plants if you use the compost as a mulch or as a soil conditioner.

Roses:- Complete pruning and feed with rose fertilizer.

Hedges and Shrubs:- Continue planting, water newly planted bushes if weather is dry.

Dahlias:- Divide healthy tubers and plant out towards the end of the month.

Sweet peas:- Plant out March grown seedlings, start restricting growth on plants grown as cordons, removing all tendrils and side shoots.

Vegetables:-It’s not too late to plant parsnip, leaf beet, leeks and broad beans. Plant late onion sets, and sow salad crops (lettuce, spring onions and radish),
continue to plant potatoes, first earlies then second earlies then maincrop. Sow seeds of late summer cauliflowers (All the year Round),
globe beetroot (Boltardy), winter cabbage (January King), savoys, purple sprouting, main crop carrots, wrinkle seeded peas and spring headed broccoli.
Plant out late summer cabbages. Sow French and Runner beans, in pots, under glass, ready to plant out when the threat of frost has passed.
Cut first asparagus shoots from beds at least two years old. Earth up potatoes to protect from frost. Harvest the first rhubarb stems,
don’t remove too many from one crown, remove any rhubarb flower shoots as soon as they appear.

Greenhouse or Under Glass:-Sow seeds of tomatoes and peppers, pot on when large enough to handle. Sow seeds of melons, cucumbers, squashes,
pumpkins, marrows and sweet corn in individual 3” pots of John Innes No. 1 compost ready to plant out when grown.

Herbs:- Sow small amounts of various herb seeds to establish a herb garden. Sow parsley which may take 10-12 weeks to germinate.
Plant rosemary and lavender, which, when in flower will encourage bees.

Soft fruit:-Mulch soft fruit bushes with well rotted manure. Scatter slug pellets around strawberry plants before covering the ground with straw to protect the crop from dirt.

Flowers from seed:- Sow hardy annuals were they are to flower. Sow half hardy annuals under glass.

Bulbs:- Dead head daffodils and tulips, leave snowdrops, muscari and other small bulbs to seed themselves and produce more plants.
Divide clumps of snowdrops whilst in the green if necessary. Feed bulbs with a little bonemeal.

Slugs and Snails:- Scatter bird and animal friendly pellets around their favourite tender plants before they ruin all your hard work.

Pests and Diseases:- Lookout for pests and diseases as these can severely reduce the crop, caterpillars, sawflies, mites, aphides,
moulds and fungus to name but a few. Spray at the first sign of infestation but don’t forget that sprays can also kill friendly insects like bees and ladybirds.

The Trading Store has seeds, composts, fertilizers, growbags, manure, topsoil, bark, lawn dressing, grass seed, seed trays and pots and various gardening chemicals
e.g. slug pellets all at very reasonable prices.