Your Garden in APRIL
YOUR GARDEN IN APRIL
Gardening tips and advice......Spring is definitely in the air
April will no doubt bring some of its famous showers but, whatever the weather, the transition into spring is an exciting time of year, with so much going on in the garden and more daylight hours to enjoy it.
With daffodils and tulips leading the way, our gardens are rapidly brought to life. Winter flowering shrubs such as Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) and Viburnum are fading now but are quickly replaced by blooms of Forsythia, Daphne, Magnolia and Rhododendron.
Spring is all about bright colours and scent in the garden, so now is a great time to freshen up borders. Before adding anything new, remember to remove any weeds you can see, turning over the soil as you go, helping to prevent further unwanted regrowth.
You've probably divided your earlier flowering perennials by now but there is still time to divide clumps of late-flowering perennials such as Helenium and Rudbeckia. If they haven't been divided for a few years, these plants will certainly get a boost from being split and replanted, and they'll have time to settle back in before they flower.
If you want to add some scented shrubs to your garden, there are some excellent contenders. Osmanthus delavayi with its profusion of small white flowers produces a lovely fragrance, especially when planted in sun, whilst Daphne pontica releases its almond scent at dusk and has the benefit of attracting pollinators.
Warmer weather brings back bees, butterflies, lacewings and ladybirds to our gardens, and it's a good idea to encourage them, as they provide a natural control against garden pests. Some garden centres have areas dedicated to plants which attract beneficial wildlife but, if you're not sure, please just ask.
It's a good time to feed your shrubs to encourage greater growth throughout the season. Use an all-purpose fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 or Growmore, available from most local garden centres, and simply follow the instructions on the pack.
April is a great month to freshen up your rockery. Clean any rocks which have a covering of moss and prune back existing plants that are overgrown. Then add new plants, such as Aubretia, Saxifraga and Dianthus, to fill gaps and add a splash of colour, turning over the soil first with a trowel.
Now your lawn is growing again, you will be able to assess its condition. If you're concerned about moss and weeds, the application of a combined weed/moss killer and feed will help. Be warned though, a week or so after application, things will not look good as the moss dies and turns black.
The next step is to rake out the dead moss, a process known as scarification which can be done either with a machine or spring back rake (be warned, it's fairly tiring work especially if you have a large lawn). If, after you've raked, your lawn looks bare, you can overseed it. For best results, you should top dress first, which involves brushing a mix of sand, top soil and compost over the lawn.
APRIL ON THE VEG PLOT
Whether you have an allotment, a veggie patch in your garden or just a few containers for growing your own, this can guide you through the edible gardening year.
The plot is getting busy now. Plant out second earlies and late crop potatoes, earthing up when plants are 15cm tall or if frost is forecast. This prevents the frost touching the foliage and blackening or killing it.
Garden centres will have trays of vegetable plants ready to fill your beds. These varieties have been carefully selected by the growers to perform, give a good return and taste great. Harden off before planting out and have fleece handy for colder nights.
Make regular sowings of beetroot, lettuce, salad leaves, spinach, spinach beet, spring onions, radish and turnips. Sow carrots (under fleece to deter carrot root fly) and peas.
Keep on top of weeding with regular hoeing. Weeds take light and nutrients away from your crops and can harbour pests and disease. Hand weed around crops to prevent root disturbance, adding weeds to the compost heap. Water after weeding to settle the plants back down.
https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/ Thanks to WILL