In the garden:
Once the soil is frost free and workable, you can add some nutrients in the form of manure (well-rotted), bone meal, Growmore or chicken pellets.
If you do get any snow, knock it off branches and leaves as soon as you see it. The extra weight can easily snap fragile branches.
Roses can be fed with good quality specialist rose feed.
Start to sow flower seeds for planting out in May and June. Summer bedding like geraniums, petunias and impatiens (busy lizzie) are among the varieties you can plant now.
Indoor, potted bulbs like daffodils and hyacinths that have finished flowering can also be put out into the garden.
Take the dead heads off hydrangeas before new growth starts.
If you know plants are going to need support later in the season, now’s a good time to put the scaffolding in place, so they can grow through them.
Check the ties on any existing supports and replace any that are damaged.
Fruit and veg:
Dig in compost, manure, other feeds or green manures now.
At the end of the month, potatoes can be planted outside. Try containers if you don’t think you have room for them in your gardens.
Early carrots, broad beans and parsnips can be planted, but only under glass – in a frame or under cloches – and ideally in soil that you’ve warmed first.
Once frosts have passed, plant onions, shallots and garlic outside.
This is the time to plant fruit trees. Sunny, sheltered spots are the best and it’s worth waiting for a dry day. Dig a hole deeper and wider than the roots of the tree; soak bare-rooted trees or water container-grown trees; plant with the graft visible above the soil. Most new fruit trees will need support to get them started.
Plant your raspberry canes. Setting up your supports is easier with young canes than when they’ve started growing. Raspberries are another fruit that can be grown in containers if you’re short of space.
If you have strawberry plants, cover them now for an earlier fruiting season.
Orchids will be coming back into growth soon. Before they do, repot them using clear pots and special orchid compost. The roots of orchids are vulnerable and need air. Repotting keeps the compost fresh and aerated and the clear pots mean you can keep an eye on the root system.
Along with your plants, the weeds are coming back to life after the winter – you need to get your hoe out and get amongst them! The more you do now, the less you’ll have to do later.
It’s time for another step along the journey from greenhouse to garden. Move greenhouse plants into cold frames to help harden them off. Cold frames are easy to build with salvaged windows if you’re a DIY fan.
Go around all your container plants and top dress them with fresh compost.
Your pond should be coming back to life if you have one. It’s time to feed the fish.