Whether you have a large plot with full

borders, a small garden or a terrace with

just a few pots, this is the month when

we are all busy.

It’s hard to go indoors when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the garden is alive with the year’s first flowers.

General tasks:

  • Watch out for frosts and keep horticultural fleece handy to throw over any plants vulnerable to damage.
  • Trim back climbers threatening to invade your guttering and eaves, always cutting back to a pair of buds.
  • Lay new turf or start to sow new lawns.
  • Spread a compost mulch around border plants to suppress weeds.

Ornamental garden:

  • Prune forsythia as soon as flowering finishes, removing about one in five of the oldest stems.
  • Cut back old growth on ferns to make room for the new shoots and show them off as they unfurl.
  • Put up wigwams for climbers like sweet peas and clematis, sinking four or five canes in a circle and tying together securely at the top.

Kitchen garden:

  • Sow spinach seed direct into the ground, spacing the easy-to-handle seeds about 5cm apart in shallow drills.
  • Inspect fruit tree branches for woolly aphid, like white fluff on the bark; blast off with a jet of water if you spot them.
  • Plant asparagus in trenches, making mounds in the bottom to sit the spidery crowns on before back-filling with soil.

Container gardening:

  • If you haven’t changed the soil in your containers for a while, do this now to restore the nutrients with some good quality compost.
  • Check the drainage is still good too and add some more old broken pots or larger stones if required.
  • Don’t forget to water all your new plants well before and after you pot them up in your containers.
  • Check out this month’s Gardeners World latest issue for some great ideas in their 21 page Special on Summer Pots made easy; http://www.gardenersworld.com/magazine/ and available to buy in store too!