And the craziness continues… What a frustrating season, with gardens and gardeners all out of step. In mid-April the consensus was that we were three weeks behind with our planting and before much could be planted there was still the preparatory stuff. Every hole filled with water, so many of us have only just put out potatoes and onions. Garden Centres and Supermarkets alike have been offering all sorts (some of it far too early for consideration) for weeks and stocks are backing up. Anyway, we have said it before, nature knows how to do it and will quickly catch up, but it has been a little trying.
May is the month, when we should get away with planting everything as long as we show a little caution with the most tender items like Beans, Marrow and Cucumbers as well as Begonias and Busy Lizzies which are worth holding up for a fortnight. Our tubs and baskets can be planted too and there will be plenty of good plants everywhere over the next month. If you are making up, then its worth using a decent compost ( as contained plants are greedy), so pass on the very cheap.
Of course you can still be sowing seed too, with all of the salad stuff responding quickly and having mentioned caution with tender vegetables, Courgettes, Squash, Melons, Runner Beans and all of their near relatives can be sown now in pots or in situ, without too much weather risk. It will be worth popping down a few slug pellets to deter visitors, but not much else is going to bring you grief. That said, if you have set out any greens, do consider a bit of net. The pigeons seem to be very switched on these days.
I have talked about the production, but repair may also be on your list. The lawns have had a bashing and if you can find the time prodding the lawn with a fork is going to improve the aeration. There is moss and weed on every lawn and there are plenty of chemicals to bring to the rescue, but the prodding may help and it costs less. There is also some worth in nipping around with the secateurs, just to tidy up. The rough weather has battered and broken trees and shrubs and clean repair will ensure healthy recovery.
And finally, every year we joke about the premature promotion of everything, Easter eggs in January and Christmas Party bookings in June. I saw Runner Bean plants for sale in the first week of April. Can that be bettered?