General Maintenance

  • Water plants only in really dry conditions, the act of giving too little water too often, only brings the roots of the plant to the surface and compounds the effect of warm days and drying winds.
    A better solution is to mulch the soil when it is wet or damp with well rotted manure or garden compost.
    This will conserve the moisture that is already in the soil and allow plant roots too go deeper to find the water they need.
  • Continue to hoe off weeds, the hoeing action not only kills the weeds but creates a fine tilth on the top of the soil aiding water conservation.
  • Make regular checks for garden pests such as the green fly, black fly and the cabbage white butterfly, all of which can multiply at alarming rates at this time of year.
  • Make sure any rain has not washed soil from the earthed up Potato ridges.


  • As the risk of frost should have passed now even the tenderest crops can be planted out after hardening them off.
  • Be prepared to protect newly planted crops from strong cold winds that can scorch leaves and damage plants just as readily as frost.
  • Outdoor cordon Tomatoes will need tying up as they grow and any side shoots removed.
    Bush tomatoes are less demanding but may require some support later in the year to stop the fruit trusses trailing on the soil.
  • continue to sow salad crops ‘little and often’ to get continuous cropping.
    Note that lettuce does not like to germinate in high temperatures so it may be best to find a shady area for them.
  • Sow Runner Beans and climbing French Beans outside. If the weather is very dry spraying the flowers with water is said to help them too set.
  • Marrows, Courgettes, Squashes and pumpkins can be planted out in well prepared ground.
  • Transplant late winter Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower and Cabbage into their final position.


  • Continue to peg down Strawberry runners for new plants. Or trim off as they will take energy from the plant.
  • Pinch out side shoots on trained fruit and tie in the ones you want as they grow.
  • Thin Gooseberries for larger fruit.
  • Keep watch for the Gooseberry Sawfly caterpillar, an infestation can strip a plant of its leaves in days.
  • Inspect fruit plants and trees regularly for any signs of pests or disease.


  • Greenhouse crops will need regular feeding and watering.
  • Ventilate the greenhouse as much as possible to keep air circulating and temperatures down.
  • Damp down the floor freely to keep up humidity and create a buoyant atmosphere for growing.
  • Tie in and train Cucumbers and Melons to their supports.
  • Indoor Tomatoes will need regular side shooting as soon as these are big enough to handle.
  • Keep watch for any pests such as Greenfly, White fly or Red Spider mite, note also any signs of Gray mould disease.