Five Things You Should Do In May

The air and the soil are finally beginning to warm; seeds are germinating and growing in the blink of an eye. It is tempting to plant out your delicate seedlings, but as they say, never cast a clout until May is out – use this advice for your seedlings. You don’t want months of hard work going to waste.

It feels like spring has barely begun and summer is already fast approaching.

Harden off your seedlings

Now that the days are finally warming up, now is the time to harden off your seedlings in preparation for planting out. You can either harden them off by using a cold frame for a week or two, closing the lid at night or if you don’t have a cold frame available just leave them outside during the day and place them back in your greenhouse or polytunnel at night.


Repot and divide plants

Now is a great time to repot any plants that have out grown their pots and
become pot bound. It is also the perfect time to split any summer flowering plants that have multiplied in size. This will give you extra plants at no extra cost.

Weeds, weeds, weeds…

Back in March I mentioned that you should have weeded and tilthed your plot. Well, now is not the time to slack! Weeds will become more abundant as the season wears on. You’ll thank yourself for keeping on top of it all. This will be an on going job throughout the year. If you have a lot of dandelions on your plot, why not try making dandelion honey.

Erect your bean and pea sticks

Your peas, runner beans and other climbers will be ready to plant out by the end of the month. Make sure you have your bamboo canes, trellises and archways secured and ready for your crops.

Keep sowing

Even though we are now hardening off our earlier seedlings, there is still plenty of seeds to be sowing this month. Sweet peas, lettuce, spring onions, beetroot, carrots pumpkins, cucumbers… the list is endless. Along with March and April, May is a crucial time to get those seeds sown (directly if possible) for that perfect summer harvest.

Five Things You Should Do In April

The days are longer yet the air is still crisp. Blossom and flowers are immerging from their dormancy. Sunny, warm summer like days are quickly followed with sleet and rain, the weather remains unpredictable throughout the month and there is still a risk of frost.

Sow, sow, sow!

Much like March, April is a busy month for seed sowing. There is even more to get sown this month in order to get bumper crops in the summer. Try sowing successional crops, so that you don’t have a glut of the same vegetables. There is still plenty of time to get potatoes in, traditionally potatoes are planted from Easter and beyond. Whilst there is still plenty to get started with in the greenhouse or polytunnel, you can now get cracking with direct sowing. Beetroot, carrots, parsnips, radish and spring onions are just a few things you can get in the ground.

Get tidying

There’s nothing like a spring clean on the plot to get you ready for the new season. Now is a good time to do the jobs you’ve been putting off for a while; touching up the shed, tidying a neglected part of the plot or even a spot of DIY.

Keep an eye out for pests

With the arrival of spring, pests come out of the woodwork. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails, they will decimate any small leafy greens. We use woollen slug pellets. These are chemical free, so they are safe for any hedgehogs or other critters that may be on your plot. They also serve a secondary purpose, they act as a mulch for your young plants. Pigeons and butterflies will also be on the lookout for their lunch, so make sure to keep any brassicas covered.

Clean your greenhouse or polytunnel

You may have already done this by now, but if you haven’t now is the perfect time before you are inundated with seedlings. The days are getting longer and you want to make the most of the sunshine. By cleaning the panes and vents, it will allow much more light into your greenhouse or polytunnel.

Sort your compost

The little critters will have immerged from their hibernation in your compost bin by now, so it is a good time for you to empty your compost and sieve through the black gold you have created. Anything that has not completely composted can be thrown back into the pile and left until next year.

Here’s to spring and longer, warmer days.

Five Things You Should Do In March

As the air begins to thaw and the flowers burst into life, spring has begun to awaken from its long slumber. There is an absolute plethora of seeds to sow and bulbs to plant in March, but try not to get too ahead of yourself. The ground is still yet to warm thoroughly and there is still a risk of frost.

Get planting

This may be stating the obvious, but now is the time to get cracking. Your seed selection for March will be large, so pick the ones you want to get a head start on. Now is also a great time to transplant your strawberry runners. There is also still time to plant rhubarb crowns, although it is best to not harvest the crop in the first year as it may lessen the crop for the following years. Don’t forget to get your first early crop of potatoes in.

Weed & tilth your plot

Since turning over your plot last month, it is now time to tilth your plot and remove any weeds that you may come across. This will give any seeds you sow a great start to the season.

Protect early seedlings

If you are sowing directly in March, it is well worth protecting these seedlings with fleece or a cloche. This will speed up the warming of the soil and you’ll gain a few extra weeks of the growing season.

Prune & tie back

If you didn’t get around to cutting back your autumn fruiting raspberries in winter, there is still just enough time to get them pruned even if there are signs of new growth. You can also prune any other fruit bush, like gooseberry, all varieties of currants, blackberries and blueberries.

Plant your summer flowering bulbs

Although we have just reached spring, it’s already time to plant your summer flowering bulbs. Your bulbs will all have different needs, some may prefer full sun and others partial shade and well drained soil. Gladioli put on a wonderful show throughout the summer. If you want a continual show, plant bulbs throughout the next few months. Our last bulbs that were planted in mid summer flowered right up until October.

Happy sowing.