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Jobs For The Month


1. Pick off any developing seedheads on daffodils and other spring bulbs, but leave the foliage to die back naturally
2. Finish pruning roses early in the month
3. Cut dogwoods, willows, cotinus and paulownia right down to the base to promote vigorous new growth
4. Start sowing hardy annuals outdoors, including California poppies, nasturtiums and opium poppies
5. Tidy up alpines as they start to flower, removing dead foliage, then mulch with grit to keep the foliage off damp soil
6. Plant faded forced bulbs out in the garden for blooms next year
7. Plant lilies and other summer-flowering bulbs in pots and borders
8. Feed ericaceous shrubs, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and pieris, with an ericaceous fertiliser
9. Tidy up borders, removing established and newly germinating weeds, then mulch generously with garden compost
10. Plant new roses and other shrubs and climbers
11. Sow native wildflower seeds in trays or modules, to produce plants for your own mini-meadow
12. Check tender new shoots for aphids, and remove before infestations get out of hand
13. Continue deadheading spring flowers and any remaining winter bedding so they don't set seed
14. Scatter general-purpose fertiliser over flowerbeds and around roses, shrubs and hedges

1. Avoid carrot root fly by sowing an early crop of carrots under cloches or fleece
2. Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines in pots indoors
3. Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, at a depth of 10-15cm, spaced about 30cm apart
4. Buy young herbs to plant in containers near your back door, for handy pickings
5. Plant onion and shallot sets, spacing them 10-15cm apart, and keep the bed free of weeds
6. Make the first outdoor sowings of hardy veg, such as spinach, covering with cloches or fleece
7. Plant early potatoes in trenches on the veg plot, or in large tubs if space is limited
8. Sow parsnips as soon as the soil starts to warm up, as they're slow to germinate and need a long growing season
9. Plant a fig tree in a large container to restrict its roots, which encourages fruiting and limits its overall size
10. Feed cabbages and other brassicas with nitrogen-rich fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure
11. Plant bare-root asparagus crowns in well-drained soil or raised beds, in an open, sunny spot
12. Start hoeing veg beds as soon as the weather starts to warm up, as weeds will germinate quickly
13. Plant strawberries in a hanging basket to keep the fruits away from slugs

1. Get crops off to a good start indoors to transplant into the garden later, such as celeriac, celery, lettuces and parsley
2. Take down bubble insulation in the greenhouse once temperatures start to rise, to let in more light
3. Sow a selection of vibrant annual climbers, such as Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobata) and black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)
4. Buy good value young bedding plants for growing on to a larger size under glass, or sow your own in a heated propagator
5. Sow dwarf French beans in a large pot for an early indoor crop in June
6. Plant prepared freesia bulbs in pots of rich, loam-based compost, for fragrant flowers indoors this summer
7. Pot up overwintering cannas into fresh compost, water in, then place in a warm spot to spur them into growth
8. Sow sweet peas in deep pots and keep them frost free in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill
9. Take cuttings from dahlia tubers planted last month to raise new plants
10. Protect greenhouse sowings of beans, peas, mangetouts and sweet peas from hungry mice
11. Be vigilant for greenhouse and houseplant pests, such as mealy bugs, and treat straight away
12. Open greenhouse vents on sunny days to prevent humidity building up
13. Sow coleus on a warm windowsill to enjoy their vibrant foliage indoors or in tropical-style displays outside
14. Take basal cuttings from perennials, such as delphiniums and lupins, to root in a pot indoors

1. Mow lawns once they start back into growth, and re-cut the edges with a half-moon edging tool
2. Build or buy a new compost bin, ready to recycle the coming season's garden waste
3. Dig out a new pond, or install a water feature, to attract more wildlife
4. Apply residual path weedkillers to paved and gravel areas during a dry spell
5. Put slug barrier products around the new shoots of hostas and other susceptible perennials
6. Replant pots of bulbs from indoors into borders, once the display is over, then water in well and apply liquid feed
7. Check that tree ties aren't too tight and that stakes are still firmly anchored in the ground
8. Prune out any wind-damaged branches on trees and shrubs
9. Treat emerging shoots of perennial weeds, such as ground elder, with a weedkiller such as glyphosate
10. Place bug boxes or bundles of hollow stems in sheltered corners, where insects can lay their eggs
11. Keep putting out food for garden birds, as the breeding season gets under way
12. Chop down winter-grown green manure and dig into the soil, to get the veg plot ready for sowing
13. Cut back winter-flowering jasmine to keep it within bounds and encourage flowers next year
14. Give blackcurrant bushes a high-nitrogen feed
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