Is Spring really here? The signs are well advanced with blossom everywhere and you can always tell spring has arrived because the garden centres have their summer bedding on display albeit they are normally plug or mini plants needing to be grown on before planting out at the end of May. Yes you did read that correctly, end of May! Did your mother never say “Ne-er cast a clout till May is out”? Last week in my garden, in the shade the temperature went from 0 to 22 degrees! So be warned!
Some vegetable seeds can be sown directly into the soil now if conditions allow it. You can help the soil warm up by covering with a cloche, plastic tunnel or just clear plastic sheets. Tender plants such as tomatoes and peppers should be sown inside and planted out when there are no signs of frost.
Spring flowering shrubs can be pruned now, but wait till they are finished flowering. Pruning normally consists of taking out the shoots that have just flowered. Always take out dead and diseased shoots first.
Houseplants are beginning to grow so should be fed and watered regularly. They can also be transplanted or for established pots just scrape away some top soil and add new soil such as John Innes No3.
On warm rainy days take your houseplants outside as the like their foliage washed in gentle rain. I leave some of my houseplants outside for the summer but if you do this be careful as they can get sunburnt! Start them off in the shade and gradually introduce them to the sunlight!