The recent change to British Summer Time means that there is more time to garden in the evenings and, for the early risers, you can garden in the mornings too.
Whether you're growing fruit and veg, ornamentals or houseplants, there's certainly no shortage of things to do!
Home grown food
- If possible, plant maincrop potatoes where no potatoes have been grown for the last three years. The very earliest varieties may need earthing up now too. Earthing excludes the light from the tubers, preventing them from becoming green and inedible. If frosty, cover emerging shoots with horticultural fleece to protect from damage.
Keep sowing batches of peas
and broad beans
to provide a succession of harvests. Early sown varieties will need support with netting or traditional pea sticks from the hedgerows.
Sow perpetual spinach
, Swiss chard
and summer cauliflower
outside. You can also sow leeks
, turnips, lettuces
and many other vegetables out now. If you struggle with getting good germination, try planting into modular cell trays using seed compost.
Need to ask a question? Download the Candide app, to ask the community (including Alan!) for their gardening and plant advice
Greenhouse and protected growing
- Ensure that bees can access strawberry plants growing under protection. Open greenhouse vents during the day and lift the sides of low polythene tunnels to ensure that bees can get in and out.
If space is tight, over-wintered geraniums (Pelargonium)
could go outside. But put them in a warm sheltered place and keep an eye on them.
Trees, shrubs and hardy plants
grows rapidly at this time of year and will need to be tied-in regularly. Watch out for slug and snail damage- especially if trained on walls. Put down slug pellets or use natural predators.
Spring is the best time to plant frost-tender shrubs. Plants that originate from Mediterranean regions of the world such as lavender
, Cape Daisy (Osteospermum)
should all be planted now. They will be well established by autumn and will overwinter so much better than when planted in the autumn.
Now is an excellent time to plant Wisteria
but chose a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Some of the best bloomers are trained onto south and west-facing walls.
- As sunlight becomes stronger, plants have a higher chance of getting burnt by the bright sun. Just check to see that they are okay and move if necessary.
Ponds and Water Features
- The water in ponds often goes green at this time of year. A net bag of clean barley straw dropped into the water will often resolve the problem. This is normally caused by nutrient levels being too high. Growing plants that cover at least 1/3rd of the water surface can also help to stop it.