Don't think a few nice days mean there are no more frosts. The end of May is the usual latest. Maybe this year it will be earlier. May 15 is the date talked about on the Fladbury allotments.
Tender bedding needs to be hardened off by putting in a sheltered spot for a few days before final planting. Daffodils going over will repay it next year if you deadhead them. Just pulling their heads off is enough to remind them that as they are not going to seed they had better put their energy into the bulb.
My forsythia has done really well this year that I'm going to cut off a lot of the flowering stems to give a better shape to it. All the new stems will bear better flowers next spring. Flowering cherries and all stoned fruit can be pruned now they are growing, they don't want to be pruned when dormant as they are more susceptible to bacterial infection. A little tip is to carry a kitchen spray of antibacterial around with the secateurs or saws and spray when you move from tree to tree. That way you won't spread any problems
Most vegetables can be sown now direct into the ground. However I do my runner beans, sweet corn, courgettes, and squashes in pots in the greenhouse. I think it gives them a bit of a start and you can weed out any weak plants all with sweetcorn any misses. I find that they germinate better with bottom heat.
- You can now lift and divide primulas and polyanthus once they've have finished flowering giving you more plants for free or ones you can swap with fellow gardeners. If you're a fan of lavender, now is the best time to plant it - and you'll be spoiled for choice is with the colours and varieties on offer - an added bonus is that the are a magnet for bees and butterflies. Position plant supports where they will be needed in late summer. Doing this now reduces the risk of damaging the roots later in the season. Plant lily and gladioli bulbs in 4in (10cm) deep holes. Cover with soil or compost and gently firm down the soil to ensure that there are no air pockets as this may cause the bulbs to rot.
- Lawns are now crying out to be cut. If your grass is long make sure to cut it on the highest setting first and then go back over with a lower one.
- You may have noticed your pond if you have one, looks green and cloudy, and this is due to a rapid increase in algae, as a result of the warmer spring temperatures. Once the pond plants start to grow again, these will use up the nutrients and create shade, reducing the amount of algae and you can speed up the process by . dropping a string bag of barley straw into the pond.
- Tidy up any remaining leaves and general garden rubbish. It's home to slugs, snails, vine weevil and woodlice and can introduce disease and infection into your garden.
We are seeking new members as well as new committee members and we are in particular need of a secretary, so we would be pleased to hear from anyone who would consider joining us. To have a look at the summer show categories–if you are considering entering chutneys, then now would be a good time to make a start, similarly photographic competition has called for different sections with plenty of opportunity to win a prize. We are hoping to attract more children to have a go this year (as well as more adults). It really is a fun event and is not aimed at horticultural experts. Last year quite a few new entrants were surprised to find they had won a trophy so have a look and see what you could enter.