April is a lovely Spring month and many of us will be busy in our gardens preparing for the Summer months ahead. It is also a transitional month, bringing unpredictable weather, so it is often the case of getting out to do something whenever the weather permits.
If the grass is dry and frost-free we can now mow our lawns and tidy up the edges by re-cutting them with a half-moon or spade to give a neat edge to the flowerbeds or patio areas. Lawns will also benefit from a dose of lawnfeed at this time.
There may still be some leaves lurking under shrubs so these can be raked out and flowerbeds tidied up, cutting back any perennials which may still have the old growth from last summer.
Sowing Vegetable seeds
If you are planning to grow some vegetables, now is the time to sow tomatoes, runner beans, green peppers and courgettes which will then be planted on when there is no danger of frost.
This is the best time for creating new container displays. If you have the space, pot plug plants into larger pots as this will be cheaper than buying bigger pot plants later on. Plant up summer baskets and store undercover for positioning in late May. We can also sow half-hardy bedding plants in seed trays in the greenhouse or indoors by a sunny window.
Maintain water buts and water features
If you have a pond or water feature, now is the time to give it a little post-winter maintenance. Clear out ponds: lift put any planting baskets and fish (keep in buckets of old pond water), bail out the water, remove sludge and refill with collected rainwater is possible (if you use tap water, let it stand for a week before putting any fish back in).
Check that your water butts are collecting water effectively, that the downpipes are clear and that the taps are working (they sometimes become blocked with old leaves).
Protect from frost and wind
April can still bring frosty nights, so be ready to protect tender flowers and vegetables from late frosts. Young, upright-growing plants will need some form of support so stake tall plants to prevent them being damaged.
Don’t forget the house plants, either. Water and feed more often now that they are actively growing.
Local nurseries and garden centres are offering an order and delivery service. Please go to their websites for details.
Written by Cara