Spring jobs in the garden

Posted: Tuesday 23 April 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

At last, the longer daylight hours and a bit of full-strength April sunshine has pushed some life into my garden.

Young leaves

The warm weather has brought on a flurry of activity in gardens everywhere. At last, the longer daylight hours and a bit of full-strength April sunshine has pushed some life into my garden.

Buds are fattening up well on many of the shrubs and trees in my garden, and some have burst into greenery now. When the sun comes out, I find myself bursting into life too – I just hope it’s not a false start.

So now the better weather’s here we can get on with some of the seasonal jobs that have been postponed. If you have light, free-draining soil, you can start planting potatoes outside. I have very heavy clay soil in my garden, which is still a bit too wet for potatoes, so I’m putting it off for a little longer.

I’ll sow some hardy annual flower seeds outside now. They’re much more likely to germinate and grow successfully now that the soil’s warmer. It would have been a risk planting them a few weeks ago when it was still so cold.

Some vegetable seeds can be sown directly outdoors now. I tend to sow only the bigger seeds outdoors at this time of year, and avoid those that are prone to cold and wet problems, like carrots and parsnips. If your soil is on the heavy side, like mine, stick to sowing small quantities for now, and choose the more robust varieties. Also, I recommend warming areas of your plot with cloches or polythene for a few days before sowing - it makes an amazing difference to germination.

Most of the plants in my garden will benefit from a good feed during spring. Not just young plants, but the established ones, too. Feeding will help plants to recover after winter, since the cold and wet weather earlier in the year will have washed a lot of minerals and nutrients out of the soil, and may even have killed some roots. So go on, don't be mean - feed everything.

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Flower bird 26/04/2013 at 18:17

Hi Pippa, enjoyed your blog......I went to see the garden I look after today, I haven't been there for a few weeks so it was a nice surprise to see how much growth there had been in
such a short time , in spite of the weather.
The camellia has got lovely blooms on it and the pieris is in flower, the bluebells will be flowering in the next week and there was plenty of new growth on the shrubs.
Even the big pots were overflowing with big bloomed pansies., primroses and other spring flowers which I have forgotten the name of.
It was such a joy to see how much the garden had come Ito life.......