Guest post by Erin aka @hortihunny
With the arrival of spring flowers and louder and more varied birdsong, it’s beginning to feel like spring! After a slower couple of months in the garden, the lighter evenings allow more time to get jobs done and it’s the ideal time to start sowing and planting for flowers and food through the summer months. Although typically in Scotland we can have frosts into April and May, you can start to prepare some hardy plants. There’s plenty of things to get on with in the garden but this month I’ve geared it more towards ‘growing your own’. If you’re keen to grow your own, here’s a few things you can work on this month regardless of your garden size.
- Sewing Seeds
Ahead of sowing you might want to sort through your seeds. I like to group mine in order of when I plant them. It’s a good idea to have a look at your remaining seed packets before you head out to buy more. Although I know I’m always tempted and end up buying new varieties! Check the dates on the packet, they’re less likely to germinate if they’re past the date but I always give them a shot just in case!
Seed trays and module trays can be helpful to start your seeds off but don’t worry if you don’t have any – why not use recycled plastic containers? I save clear plastic lids from packaging to use as ‘propagators’ which are simple and cheap, just make sure you check them regularly so seedlings don’t get too hot and dry out or dampen off if there is a lot of condensation. Have your trays and compost ready so you can fill a few at a time and sow your seeds more efficiently.
You can sow a variety of vegetables at this time of year.
Indoors/ in a greenhouse:
In the garden:
Plant out the potatoes you’ve chitted inside. You can either do this in trenches or plant straight in if you like no dig. If you don’t have much space, why not try to grow them in large tubs (the deeper the better).
Plant onion and shallots straight into beds – make a wee line in the soil with your trowel/finger and plant them 10-15cm apart.
Sow your first sowings of hardy veg like spinach straight into your beds. It’s a good idea to cover with some fleece to protect them from the cold and birds.
Indoors/In the greenhouse:
In the garden:
*You can sow some hardy annuals such as calendula, cornflowers and nigella straight into the ground although you might want to wait until April when it’s a little warmer.
*Plant summer flowering bulbs such as lilies, agapanthus and gladioli.
If you’ve got some wildflower mix, now is a good time to sow it so you have beautiful colour in summer! If you have some older seeds and you’re not sure how they’ll do, try making your own wildflower mix and scatter them where you want them to flower. Last year I sowed wildflowers on my bin storage unit to make a living roof and it worked really well – you can see how to create your own here!
- Mulching & Weeding
You can mulch your garden by adding a layer of compost to beds – the Caledonian Horticulture mulches are ideal for adding slow release nutrients to the soil and keeping weeds at bay!
Keep on top of weeds by hand weeding/hoeing bigger beds because when it gets warmer, they will germinate more quickly!