After the seemingly endless downpour for 5 days over the Easter weekend, and with lawns and flowerbeds sodden, patience needs to be the name of the game. Combined with the cold spell, everything appears to be 2 weeks behind, but nature has a habit of catching up.
Don’t rush to plant out potatoes or sow seeds at least until the soil has returned to ‘normal’.
Harden off seedlings of plants sown last month eg. lettuce, onions and cauliflower. Prick out others as they reach the first true leaf stage. Later in the month sow runner beans, leeks, courgettes, marrows and cucumbers under glass. French beans can also be started off in the greenhouse now but don’t be too hasty to plant out in the garden as they hate cold soil. Make successive sowings of lettuce. Pot on sowings of tomatoes.
Outside, when conditions allow, sow crops of peas, broad beans, cabbage, beetroot, spinach, parsnips. Cover strawberries with fleece or cloches for an earlier crop. Trim and feed rosemary. Sow hardy annuals where they are to grow. Plant gladioli corms in groups of 5 or 6. Pinch out the dead heads of daffodils; Feed and mulch roses. Keep the hoe moving to keep weeds down.
Wood ashes should be preserved as they are invaluable, especially when mixed with heavy soils, when planting out sweet peas, gladioli and many other flowering plants that are put out in Spring.