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

  • Feed and water heavily all greenhouse plants, if not already done, to keep greenhouse plants moving.
  • Sow seeds of tomatoes for greenhouse growing, without delay, also sweet peppers and chilli peppers. If there is a delay, it would be better to wait and purchase plants.
  • Start off begonias and dahlias in pots of compost.
  • Re-pot house plants that are pot-bound and falling over.

Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

  • It has been very wet, but sow vegetable seeds when conditions allow, outdoors, or sow in cell trays if a greenhouse is available,
  • Be sure that the ground is adequately fertile for vegetables – apply some general fertiliser. Or apply plenty of compost to part of the ground area each year.
  • Onion sets and shallots can be put in now too.
  • Potatoes should be planted as soon as possible.
  • If new fruit trees and bushes are to be planted, they should be put in as soon as possible to get the benefit of the best growing part of the year.
  • Apply some 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.
  • Pruning of apple and pear trees and blackcurrant bushes should be completed this week because the buds will be already opening.
  • Weed around established herb plants to ensure they are weed-free as new growth begins.


  • If new areas of lawn are to be sown, the ground should be raked and firmed before sowing. If there are weeds present, these could be sprayed off first.
  • Sow lawn seed when the ground is dry and rain is expected.
  • Lawns need feeding in most cases at this time, especially those that grew poorly last year and have a lot of moss.
  • Use lawn mosskiller if there is heavy moss growth.
  • Mowing should have been carried out already a couple of times.


  • Planting of new perennial flowers and lifting and dividing of establised plants can be carried out if necessary, but do not delay, and make sure the plants are watered until they re-establish fully.
  • Spring bulbs can be lifted green in full leaf, just after flowering and moved to other areas.
  • Gladiolus corms can be planted directly outdoors from the middle of the month.
  • Lily bulbs can also be planted out or potted up for summer flowers.
  • Hardy annual flowers such as calendula and candytuft can be sown now and will flower in late summer.
  • It is really getting too late to sow bedding flowers because they will flower very late. Wait and buy plants later. Some of the quick maturing kinds will still do alright, such as dahlias and marigolds.

Trees, Shrubs and Roses

  • Bush roses and repeat-flowering climbers have been growing for some time and if they are not resistant to rose blackspot disease, as most varieties are not, they should be sprayed with a rose fungicide.
  • Pruning should still be carried out if not completed.
  • Rootballed evergreens can be planted as the sap rises over the next two or three weeks and watered afterwards.
  • Check all young trees and shrubs planted since last autumn to ensure they are not being wind-rocked and water if the weather turns dry.