Hooray, the clocks have changed and we can garden in the evening (if it stops raining). It’s actually good to see the back of March, what a month that was. The snow was totally disarming and the cold nights have been a test. Of course the thaw and the heavy rain has made the ground very difficult too, many of last months tasks are still to do. Nature knows how to catch up and hopefully things will improve now. So in theory its all systems go, with all of the spuds going in and seed sowing proceeding at a pace. I am always amazed by the speed with which seedlings grow once the light returns, with two leaves becoming four in no time. If you are thinking of sowing Runner Beans, Marrows or Cucumbers give them until the third week, but almost everything else can be sown as soon as you like. Remember these highlighted subjects are frost sensitive, so if you are considering buying plants then hold on until May. Tomato plants are equally vulnerable unless planted under cover.
We can also start work on the flowers, with hardy annuals and perennials, as well as bulbs all wanting to get going. Snapdragons, Dianthus, Carnations as well as violas and pansies are all about as are delphiniums, lupins and hollyhocks. Keep an eye open too for Rhodanthemums. This stunning plant has risen to popularity in the last two years and is quite a special plant. It is tough, with grey cut foliage and single chrysanth like flowers. Find it and you will not regret it. If you want to run in some seed then try broadcasting (that’s waving your arms randomly) Godetia, Nigella, Larkspur, Candytuft and Cornflower all of which will grow where ever you throw them, bringing drifts of gentle colour to summer borders. If you are still looking for jobs and have space then visit summer bulbs and once again all subjects can go into the ground now.
And finally, in recent years various growers have promoted Sweet Potatoes as capable of delivering a viable crop in a single season in the UK . Gardening Which said not and I have tried and failed. This year I will try again. There are new varieties around and plants are likely to be available from many centres in a few weeks. The reports suggest something has improved.