What to do now

Timing is everything in gardening — for best results. But there is some leeway. In this section, Garden.ie offers accurate horticultural advice reminders on the main groups of plants under Irish conditions, week after week.

  • Trees, Shrubs and Roses
  • Flowers
  • Lawn
  • Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
  • Greenhouse and House Plants

Greenhouse and House Plants

  • Plant out greenhouse tomatoes in the greenhouse soil or in pots, or growbags.
  • All greenhouse plants should be well watered and liquid fed to grow them on strongly and take advantage of improving weather conditions.
  • Sweet corn should be sown by now but can be put in right away, if not.
  • Courgette seeds and runner beans can be sown mid-month for planting out at the end of May.
  • Watch for greenflies and red spider mites, especially on peach trees.
  • Summer bedding seeds sown this late will flower late in the summer and it might be better to wait and buy plants.

Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

  • If not already done, apply some wood ashes, a source of potash, to fruit trees or a fruit fertilizer to improve growth and yield, but not rich compost or manure when tends to promote soft growth and diseases.
  • Check for greenflies on fruit trees and bushes but do not spray when the blossoms are open in case of damaging pollinating bees and other insects.
  • All kinds of vegetables can be sown, especially carrots, cabbage, peas, onion sets, potatoes and cauliflower.
  • Sow seed onions, and sets can be planted.
  • A first sowing of French beans can be made.
  • Sow herb seeds too.


  • Weekly mowing will be necessary from now until the end of June and perhaps after that if the weather is wet.
  • Regular mowing keeps the grass down and encourages a good thickness of grass to develop.
  • Lawns that are growing poorly will tend to be dull in colour or yellow and need feeding now with lawn fertilizer or high-nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Keep lawn edges trimmed.


  • It is too early to plant out bedding plants, in all but the mildest gardens close to the south coast.
  • Tidy up flower beds now before the weeds go too far; the ground is still soft and it much easier than it will be in a couple of weeks time.
  • If you are raising your own bedding plants, these should be pricked out into trays or pots in good time and grown on strongly by adequate watering and liquid feeding. If they are developing too fast, simply stop feeding and ease off watering a little.
  • Gladiolus and dahlias can be planted directly outdoors.
  • Sow hardy annual flowers seeds to flower later in summer, especially nasturtiums.

Trees, Shrubs and Roses

  • Watch roses for a build-up of damaging numbers of greenflies, and spray for blackspot disease in wet weather if it was a problem last year.
  • Check the ties on all staked trees to ensure they are not too tight before new season expansion.
  • Recently planted trees, shrubs and hedges need to be checked for water shortage and will need to be watered during dry spells that last for more than five days.
  • Clip hedges that were not clipped earlier and those that have made early growth.