Spring is in full swing with longer days, the arrival of many flowering varieties and milder weather. There's plenty to do in the garden this month to reap the rewards in summer. Check out our full April hints and tips below.
Finish cutting back the past years' growth of Cornus and Salix, which are being grown for colourful young stems this coming summer.
Continue to divide herbaceous perennials as required. Pull them apart or use a knife on thick fleshy roots such as paeonies or two garden forks back to back to pull apart really tough roots. Replant the best of the pieces from the outside of the root, as these are the most viable.
Dead-head spent daffodil flower heads and their seed pods to ensure the energy of the bulb goes into the bulb itself and not into developing and ripening seed.
Apply a high Nitrogen lawn fertilizer and also a lawn weedkiller to established lawns if appropriate. Water in the fertilizer if conditions are very dry.
A reversion may occur in variegated coloured leaf trees and shrubs, resultant green shoots grow strongly. Cut out affected shoots just into the variegated/coloured foliage.
Lightly trim Lavenders (but not into the older wood) to stop them from getting leggy .
Plant potatoes from the middle of the month, planting under black polythene sheeting if there is a risk of frost, alternatively chit the tubers to encourage sprouting before planting by placing them in a tray in a light position, perhaps by a window, where there is no risk of frost.
Plant new Strawberries or bring on existing Strawberries early by covering them with cloches or clear polythene tunnels. Ensure that there is adequate ventilation between cloches, and lift the polythene for a couple of inches on the leeward side of low polytunnels.
Still a good time to plant an evergreen hedge, such as hollies, laurels and escallonias. Ensure that plants are firm in the ground, and remember to water them in dry weather.
Now is a good time to make a new lawn from purchased turf or direct sowing.
To improve old or worn-out lawns, now is the time to aerate, apply spring fertilizer, scarify, and if necessary overseed with an appropriate mixture of 15gm of grass seed.
Hoe between herbaceous plants to keep down weeds whilst they are still small. Even if soil has been recently dug, a fresh crop of annual weeds will soon germinate and hoeing the crop will also benefit the soil aeration.
Protect fruit trees trained on walls by covering the early flowering blossoms with fleece to ensure a satisfactory crop, even after frosty conditions.
Posted 6th Apr 3:20pm