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Greenhouse and House Plants
- Sow seeds of tomatoes for greenhouse growing without delay, also sweet peppers and chilli peppers, or buy some plants later.
- Feed greenhouse plants and house plants strongly to move them into rapid growth as the weather warms up and?higher temperatures are reached in the greenhouse.
- Check for greenflies and other pests indoors.
- Tidy out all rubbish and begin to prick out flowers and vegetables sown earlier for eventual planting outside.
- Plant out greenhouse tomato plants now if they are ready.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
- In late March or early April, there is usually a dry spell of weather suitable for sowing vegetable seeds outdoors and be sure to take advantage of it.
- In the cooler,damper parts of the country, it can a good idea to start vegetable seeds in small pots or cell trays in a greenhouse or indoors.
- Seeds sown in cold conditions are often slow to sprout but will do so when the weather warms, although some can fail, notably parsnips, and need to be re-sown.
- Ensure that the ground is adequately fertile for vegetables because they are mostly heavy feeders … apply 100 grams of general fertilizer per squate metre if neccesary, or less if the soil is good.
- Use plenty of rotted farmyard manure in a four-year roatation around the vegetable area.
- Onion sets and shallots can be put in now too.
- Potatoes should be planted as soon as possible.
- Prune apple and pear trees and blackcurrant bushes without delay because the buds are already opening.
- Grass growth begins to increase and at least one mowing should have been carried out to take off the withered tops of the grass if the ground was firm.
- Lawns need feeding in most cases, as soon as the weather warms up, to replenish soil nutrient levels leached out in winter.
- Feeding is especially necessary if grass grew poorly last year and there is a lot of moss competition. Mosskiller can still be used.
- Trim lawn edges if necessary and re-cut the edges of beds and borders while the soil moist and the sod is easily cut.
- Lifting and dividing herbaceous flowers should be completed by now but can be carried out if necessary still, as long as the plants are watered until they re-establish fully.
- Gladiolus corms can be planted directly outdoors from now on as the soil warms a bit.
- If hardy annual flowers, such as calendula and candytuft, were sown in autumn or in early spring, check them for weeds, thinning the flower seedlings a little if they are too many.
- It is really too late to sow bedding flowers because they will flower very late. Wait and buy plants in May.
- Hardy annual flowers such as calendula and California poppy can be sown now.
Trees, Shrubs and Roses
- Check all young trees and shrubs planted since last autumn to ensure they have not been wind-rocked, or the stems rubbed against the soil and stake or tie as necessary.
- Water young trees if the weather turns dry. Give a heavy watering at about 15 to 25 litres per plant when the leaves are expanding, and repeat if necessary.
- Trees and shrubs in pots might need watering in dry weather.
- Evergreens can still be planted as the sap is not rising yet.
- Bush roses and repeat-flowering climbers should be sprayed now against blackspot disease if they have some foliage.