It is a bit strange writing this column while we are all stuck at home keeping social distance, and none of us can predict if things will change before May. I have noticed that more people are taking an interest in their gardens so perhaps some of this information will be helpful.
Summer bedding can be planted out in the garden and pots once the risk of frost has passed. Dahlia plants can be planted out at the end of the month. Any herbaceous plants that will flop over or be damaged by high winds need to be staked. Keep up with the weeding, either by hand or hoeing them. Evergreen hedges can be cut from this month, but check for nesting birds before getting the hedgecutter out.
Regularly tie in climbers to their supports as new growth extends. Cut lawns weekly, and apply a high nitrogen lawn feed unless drought conditions persist. Treat broad leaved lawn weeds with a selective herbicide. Lightly trim box hedges and topiary towards the end of the month. Hang pheromone traps in apple trees to check for codling moths. Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs. Keep earthing up your potatoes, and plant any that are still remaining.
Put straw around your strawberry plants before the fruit trusses begin to bend with the weight of fruit, then net to protect fruit from hungry birds. French and runner beans, and sweetcorn, can be sown outside now. Start removing side shoots from the leaf axils of cordon tomatoes.