Hints & Tips
After a very extended cold winter period, spring looks like it's finally here to stay – and gardeners up and down the country will undoubtedly have been adjusting their activities outdoors accordingly.
On our gardening calendar for this month, we noted that April is generally considered the ideal time to start growing seeds.
With relatively consistent weather throughout the past few weeks, this remains the case, although some gardeners have differing views over precisely what part of April is best to start sowing.
Some simply cannot wait to start and will probably be done by now, already moving on to other tasks.
However, it is perfectly acceptable to wait until later on in the month too – and this has been commented on by writer, lecturer and internationally celebrated garden designer Mary Keen.
Writing in an article for the Daily Telegraph, she said that April is a great time to be a gardener, as she finds that she remembers what it is like to really get to grips with the pastime again.
The expert claimed that one of the benefits of sowing later on in the month is that the task will be completed much quicker and growths could start to emerge faster. However, she added that personally, she prefers to get going significantly earlier.
"Mid-February is when I normally like to start sowing and this year I have had to resist potting things on after pricking out, because space has been so short, but I have been feeding and pinching out growing tops," Ms Keen commented.
"The succession of new seedlings has been a worry because most of us can only manage if there is a rapid turnover," she continued.
Those who are yet to start sowing can make their task significantly easier by investing in a tool like the Mountfield Manor Compact 36 Cultivator.
Ideal for preparing virgin ground for seeding or aerating soil between existing crops, the machine is currently on offer at MowDIRECT for just £229 – a significant saving on the RRP of £269.