Gardeners’ World – April 2023

TomatoesSpring is finally here, although good gardening weather changes from day to day. One job for the greenhouse is sowing tomato seed. I save my seed from the previous year and grow different varieties, this year it is Gardeners Delight, Shirley, a larger tomato, and Black Russian, a cherry tomato with a good flavour. I bought a packet of Sungold and had to pay £3.25 for 8 seeds! I will certainly be saving the seed from those this year. If you have no greenhouse, grow them on a windowsill.

Lots of annuals can be sown now. Sweet peas prefer a deep pot as they have long roots. Cosmos, tagetes, nicotiana are some of my favourites and are sown in trays of peat free compost mixed with perlite or vermiculite. Once again, I save my own seed but there are always new varieties on the market. Some annuals such as begonias, petunias, and geraniums I buy as plug plants and grow on quickly when transplanted.

Any roses that haven’t been pruned need to be done now so that they produce strong buds for the summer. The late frosts have caught some rose shoots.

Perennials such as phlox, michaelmas daisies and campanula benefit from being split and the centre woody growth discarded. You may get 3 or 4 new plants from one old one. If you have any hydrangeas the dead flower heads can be cut off along with any dead wood. Borders and pots will benefit from a top dressing of compost, old woodchips or fish, blood, and bone.