Jobs in the garden this month
Plant main crop potatoes
For best results ‘chit’ (encourage to sprout ) potatoes prior to planting.
Stand the potatoes in egg trays blunt end uppermost. Potatoes are ready to plant when shoots are half to one inch long.
Planting in the ground
Plant in the ground. Dig a trench approximately 25cm (10”) deep and 30 cm (12”) wide. Plant the potatoes 40cm (14”) apart. Bank up the compost around the plant as it grows
Planting in a container.
Use a container with enough room for 10 litres volume per tuber. Fill a quarter of the pot with compost and plant the chitted potatoes near the bottom of the pot. As the plant grows, keep topping up the compost. If placing tubs outside, protect from frost.
Protect from frost by covering with fleece.
Plant vegetable seeds and plants
Leeks, carrots calabrese, cauliflower, peas, cabbage and kale are amongst vegetables that can be planted directly into the ground.
Runner beans, French beans, tomatoes and cucumbers can be planted under cover.
Plant trees shrubs and perennials
Spring is a good time to plant, the soil is warming up and is still moist. Make a planting hole bigger than the root ball. Add compost and slow release fertiliser to help the plant to become established.
- Water the plants thoroughly prior to planting
- Ensure the plant is at the same level as it was in the pot.
- Firm the compost and water in.
Prune summer flowering shrubs
Hydrangeas can be reduced to between 25cm and 60cm (10”-24”)
For bigger leaves and better colour, cut back Sambucus and Cotinus to just above the base.
Feed and Nourish established plants
Apply slow release fertilizer such as Growmore, to borders and hedges to feed plants over the growing season.
Apply a mulch. This helps retain moisture and keeps the need to weed to a minimum. Mulching also adds organic matter which encourages worms and improves soil structure.
Dead head and apply liquid feed to bulbs such as daffodils to encourage next year’s flowers.
Sow hardy annuals
Either sow in situ or in modules in a cold greenhouse. When transplanting, be careful not to disturb the roots.
Weed and feed lawns. Lawns have suffered over the long wet winter. Replace lost nutrients with a general lawn feed or treat them to a weed feed and moss kill.
Now is the ideal time to lay turf. The warmer weather and moist soil are ideal for good root growth, ensuring turf becomes established quickly.