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.
- Protect flowers on peach, nectarine and apricot trees from frost. To increase chances of a good crop, use a soft brush to hand pollinate blooms and transfer pollen from one flower to another.
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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.
- Switch from the winter formulation of citrus feed to the summer one. The summer one has a higher nitrogen content that they now need.
Trees, shrubs and hardy plants
- Clematis 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, sage, rosemary, Santolina, Cape Daisy (Osteospermum) and Hebe 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.