Spring in the UK has always been unpredictable ans always will be. It’s warm, it’s cold, it in between. It’s difficult to know when to start certain activities and it can catch us all out.

The daily temperatures affect air & soil. Air temperatures fluctuate rapidly but soil temperatures respond slowly as the average daily temperatures improve.

Air temperatures can be warm during the day and fool us into thinking summer is here only to be followed by frosts at night. This is the case in April 2019.

Rain in spring can tend to keep soil temperatures low and cold wet soils can damage more tender plants even if the average night time temperatures are warm enough.

The solution:

Follow our grandparents advice : “Ne’re give a clout until May is out”.
Your body is a great guide!

A clout stands for clothing apparently and that’s a great way to judge when tender plants can be planted. If you need a few layers to keep warm, such as coats, jumpers, scarves and even hats and gloves. IT’S TOO COLD TO PLANT TENDER PLANTS.

The end of May is the gardeners excepted time when it much less likely that we will experience LATE FROSTS that do so much damage.

The most common plant requests in cold sunny weather that shouldn’t be planted outside until the end of May

  • Tomato plants
  • Summer bedding : including Lobelia, Petunias, Geraniums & Begonias
  • Runner Beans

If you’r not sure – please ask.

One last thought : you will see these tender plants being sold in many non-specialists shops when it’s too cold. Unless you have a heated greenhouse or conservatory don’t be tempted. Planting fresh plants at the correct time will ensure much greater success.