Just when you thought that there was a hint of spring to enjoy, March caved in. The vanity of early sown seed was compromised, and things stood still. Those that lifted their heads were soon sulking.
Bizarrely the early cherries defiantly just got on with it and I have had a glorious pink haze at the centre of the garden. The bulbs too have managed, and the daffs put on a good show for race week. The jury is still out on the fate of winter damaged shrubs, I’ll give them another month. With the change of the clocks and extended evenings, we will have the chance to play catch up in April and in recent years the month has been quite balmy.
So, as we move forward, we can get the rest of the potatoes in (and don’t fret if you haven’t any chitted, they will get underway quickly now, so just pop them in). If you are playing catch up, then you will still get away with planting, onion sets, shallots and garlic. There are vegetable plants around too and certainly green stuffs like summer cabbage, cauli and calabrese are fit. You can be sowing seeds of course and not just the aforementioned, but salad as well. They all grow quite quickly, so don’t overdo it, instead try to set up some succession planting every couple of weeks. Hang back of course with marrows, cucumbers until May, but if you have a cold greenhouse or a well sheltered spot, I always think a couple of tomato plants are worth a gamble. Look for something upright rather than a bush or a trailer this early.
In May you can extend your play. This year I am going to be growing a trailer called Cherry Falls. It’s trialled really well and is recorded has having cascades of fruit that can run down 3 feet. The first of the bedding plants are around now, but be cautious, April is not the month for Begonias, Busy Lizzies or Marigolds and I get very frustrated by those that promote them in the doorways of the big outlets. Pansies,Violas,Snapdragons, Sweet Williams and Dianthus will all be fine to start with.
And finally, the lawn will need attention if you haven’t yet given it a trim. The ground is terribly wet and a few days ahead of your mowing try a bit of aeration with a garden fork.