The rains have stopped, the clocks have sprung forwards and the sun is breaking through. Finally, spring is in the air!
There is plenty to be done in the garden in the month of April.
As lots of plants start to flower and flourish, the weeds will also start to put on new growth and begin to reappear in beds and pots. As the growth can be rapid with the warmer weather, it is important to pay attention to the weeds and remove them while they are small and before they begin to flower and produce more seeds. Adding a 5cm – 7.5cm layer of mulch of well rotted manure around shrubs will help to inhibit the growth of the weeds as well as helping the soil to retain moisture during the summer months. Be careful of placing the mulch against the stems of the plants as this may encourage them to rot.
Slow release fertiliser can be lightly forked into the surface of the soil. This will give your plants a boost as they enter the growing season.
April is a good time to start planting summer flowering bulbs such as Gladiolus and Lilies. These can be planted onto pots, beds or borders.
Any plants which need supporting should have their supports placed now. This will allow them to put on new growth through the support, as it can be very difficult to add a support once the plant is bigger and there is a risk of damaging the plant. Check the ties on climbing and rambling roses. The new shoots should be tied onto the supports and also check existing ties are secure but not too tight that they may damage the plant.
Spring is the time to get the garden in order for the busy growing season ahead. Check your tools and sharpen, repair or replace them where necessary. Take a look at your compost heap and turn it, allowing oxygen to enter the layers. This will help speed up the decomposition process and produce a better compost more quickly.
Looking at the vegetable patch, there are plenty of vegetables that can be planted out this month:
All of these can be grown from seed or seedlings. At harvest time cut the plants 2-3inches from the ground and the plants will yield several crops.
carrots – best planted from seed into moist ground to encourage germination
onions – best planted from ‘sets’ – small dry onions bought from a nursery/garden centre
potatoes – best grown from ‘seed potatoes’ – bought from a nursery/garden centre
grown from seed, most varieties will require a support or trellis to grow up. Garden peas should be harvested once the peas are formed within the pods but before the peas are fully mature.
Haskett Ltd, Rowan Cottage, Cannons Green
Fyfield, Essex, CM5 0TG
T 01277 899325 , M 078507 61865