Nurseries and garden centres are expecting a busy start to the gardening season

Garden product makers are getting ready for a record Easter – as gardeners rush to fix plots that have been battered by a winter of storms.

Garden centres are expecting one of their busiest springs, as households get rain-lashed gardens into shape.

A spokesman for Scotts Miracle-Gro said winter flooding could lead to root death, phytophthora, dead lawns and waterlogged containers: “There is a pent-up demand from people who want to get outside and garden,” he said.

The spokesman added: “Sales so far are above the last two years. People want to get their gardens looking good.”

Seed firm Mr Fothergill’s was similarly optimistic. Commercial director Tim Jeffries said: “Seed sales since Christmas have been fairly good, despite a blip two weeks ago. The biggest issue is people waiting to get outside.

“Gardeners are itching to get growing. A late Easter is always good for our sector of the industry,” Tim added.

Suttons’ Tom Sharples said demand for seed was up by almost 30 per cent on last year: “We are optimistic,” he said.

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said garden centre sales during 2013 were up by six per cent on 2012.

HTA chief executive Carol Paris said: “With the economy now in recovery mode and consumer confidence on the up, it will be the weather that decides if 2014 turns out to be a good season.”