This month we have had an extraordinary amount of rain, windy weather and unseasonably cold temperatures following a previously dry month and this is causing havoc with our gardens. Tulips are being blown about so much that their petals are falling, and bedding plants are refusing to grow because it is too cold. Is there anything that can be done to save our young plants and shrubs until the weather improves?

If at all possible bedding plants and seedlings need to be kept either in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill until the weather warms up as it is possible to have frosts right up until the end of the month. If this is not a possibility then covering them with some polythene sheeting is another alternative. A simple frame can be constructed out of wood and covered with polythene thus allowing the light through but keeping the young plants protected. It is important to remember to water the plants if they are covered as they will not be getting any water from the rain.

Small vegetable and fruit plants such as strawberries can be protected from the elements by surrounding them with straw as this will prevent the new fruit from rotting as it begins to grow.