April – this month in the garden


 Things are starting to look-up. April sees the beginning of lockdown restrictions easing, coupled with even more hours of sunshine and increasing temperatures. With barbeques and al fresco dining with friends and family back on the menu, you will want your garden looking ship shape. Let’s look at the jobs that will making April the busiest yet!

 

Top jobs this month

 

1.  Warmer temperatures and spring showers will mean that weeds will be running riot in your garden without a little bit of management. Investing an afternoon to pick out weeds from flower beds and pots. This time spent will pay dividends throughout the summer months.

 

2. Climbing and rambling roses will be making their steady climb upwards so grab the twine or garden wire and give them a helping hand. If using a wire frame, remember to set the lowest wire roughly 45cm off the ground, with each additional wire roughly 30cm apart. If you are training roses to climb up arches or pergolas, aim to get the main branches horizontal to encourage flowering shoots to form low down.

 

3. Now is the time to sow hardy annuals such as marigolds, chrysanthemum, sunflowers, baby’s breath, and night-scented stock, as well as herbs and wildflower seeds. As the soil temperature has increased, you can sow directly where you want the plants to grow.

 

 

4. All this time spent in the garden means that houseplants might be feeling a tad neglected. Don’t forget to give them a little extra water as rising temperatures and increased sunshine hours will mean they will be thirstier than normal.

 

5. Shrubs will also be feeling a little bit peckish so April is the perfect time to give them an wholesome feed. Use a multi-purpose fertiliser to give them an additional boost and continue to feed pot-based shrubs throughout the summer as they can’t draw food and moisture like their flowerbed-based brothers and sisters can.

 

6. Lawns are about to become the backdrop to a summer of relaxation and garden games so use April to get them looking their best; plus after the ravages of winter, lawns often bear the scars. From repairing bare patches to seeding a new lawn, April is the ‘month of lawns’. For step-by-step advice we recommend the RHS Guide to Repairing Lawns.

 

7. It’s not just us that get out into the garden in April, the local wildlife will also be abuzz with the joys of springs. From bees and birds establishing new nests, to hedgehogs emerging from hibernation, there will be lots of activity. Why not build a bee hotel, or leave food out for hungry hedgehogs (meat-based dog or cat food will be a tasty treat)? If you can bear it, why not go fully organic and leave the caterpillars on plants as a fresh ‘take-away’ option for birds?

 

8. Aubergine, tomato, chilli, beetroot, carrot, celeriac, courgette, marrow, cucumber, squashes, pumpkin, leeks, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach, swiss chard and turnip can all be sown out this month.

 

 

9. If you managed to get some hardy plants planted out in February and March, then now is the time to start thinning out these plants to ensure they each have optimum space to grow into. If you are unsure of how far apart they should be, refer to the seed packets for a simple guide.

 

10. Deadhead spring bulb and bedding plants. This will make your beds and planters look fresher for longer.

 

 

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