Now is the perfect time to divide and replant late summer blooming perennials such as echinaceas, heleniums, and Michaelmas daisies, giving them plenty of time to get established and grow up before blooming time comes again . This will revive any plants that have started producing fewer or smaller flowers each year, and it will bring you more plants. Split into a few pieces with two garden forks and replant with fresh compost, or give away to friends.
You can start a grow bed this month in a sheltered, sunny corner of your vegetable beds, especially if the weather has been nice and the soil has warmed up. It frees up space in the greenhouse and you can plant the seedlings in their final position within a few months. Prepare your chosen bed very carefully, mixing in compost and making sure to create a fine soil so that there are no large clumps and gaps for the tiny seeds to fall into. Sow Brussels sprouts, cabbage, calabrese, sprout broccoli, cauliflowers, leeks and onions here, in rows and marked.
It’s always good to have something scented to hand and clove pinks are among the prettiest, compact, pretty and clove-scented. They do very well indoors pots and on balconies as they like good drainage and lots of light, forming a neat mound of silvery foliage. ‘Gran’s Favourite’ is a beautiful pale-flowered cultivar with dark pink edges on the many ruffled petals. Pot up in peat-free compost mixed with plenty of grit and water and feed well throughout the summer.
If no sweet corn is sown this month, there may not be time to produce cobs before the end of the season. Sow in pots under cover to plant out mid-May. You can also prepare the bed where you will plant them – they do best in rich soil, so dig in plenty of organic matter such as garden compost or well-rotted manure. They should be planted in a block with 40-50cm between plants per side, as they are wind pollinated and thus more likely to collect the pollen than the other plants in the block.