Take a look at your rhododendrons and prune out any dead wood, if you haven’t done so already. Deadheading can start early on the big leafed rhodos this year as the frost turned them brown last week (in our garden at least).
It is the last opportunity to do late divisions of herbaceous plants such as hostas. After this, you will need to leave it until next winter.
Where you have established clumps of deciduous plants or bulbs (Mark is thinking of his treasured trilliums here), as they start to appear and you know where they are, a light forking of the surrounding soil to aerate and a mulch of compost will encourage stronger growth and better performance. This can be done to your asparagus bed too but it might be getting a bit late now as the early shoots are on the move.
This is the optimum time for sowing seeds under cover for summer annuals and summer vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumber and courgettes. The aim is to have them in top condition for planting into the garden around Labour Weekend.
Annuals for spring display can be planted now as seedlings, as long as they are not frost tender. Coastal areas are now over most frost danger but a mild late frost in the next week or two is not unheard of.
Continue planting peas and new potatoes to ensure a succession of crops over summer. Dwarf beans can be started in pots now but it is a little early to plant them in the garden yet.