Your gardening year starts here! There’s so much to do this month it’s hard to know where to start – there are seeds to sow, plants to get in the ground, and of course all those gorgeous spring blossoms to enjoy. Here are this month’s jobs to get you started...
- Get your slug defences in place now to protect emerging seedlings and young plants. You’ll find wildlife-friendly ferrous phosphate slug pellets, grit barriers, slug pubs and other solutions to keep them at bay here at the garden centre in Broughshane.
- Mulch beds and borders with a general-purpose slow release fertiliser, scattering the pellets over the surface of the soil then gently forking them in.
- Dead head spring bulbs as soon as the flowers go over, so the plants don’t waste their energy producing seed instead of bulking up bulbs for an even better display next year.
- Prune hydrangeas by cutting back old flowerheads to the first pair of strong buds. While you’re at it, cut out up to a third of the oldest stems to keep plants youthful and vigorous.
- Sow sweet peas outdoors, planting two or three seeds at the foot of each cane in a wigwam or obelisk.
- Plant onion sets in a sunny, well-drained spot with the neck of each bulb just above the soil, allowing 12-15cm between each bulb.
- Sow hardy veg direct into well-prepared soil: lettuces, parsnips, turnips, beetroot, early peas and chard can all go in now, with a cloche over the row for a while to keep off any bad weather.
- Pot on tomato seedlings as they grow, moving them into a pot one size up so their roots have room to spread out and there’s no check in growth.