The start of April 2021 looks to be a little cooler than the last week of March but it will still be a 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.
Mowing and edging
We can start mowing our lawns on a high cut if the grass is dry and frost-free and can 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 lawn feed now.
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 can then be planted on in due course.
Planting up pots and baskets
This is the best time for creating new container displays. If you have the space, pot your 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 putting out in the garden in late May. We can also sow half-hardy bedding plants in seed trays in the greenhouse or indoors by a sunny window.
Maintaining water butts 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 or sludgy with old leaves).
Protect from frost and wind
April can still bring frosty nights, so be ready to protect tender flowers and vegetables from frosts. Young, upright-growing plants may need some form of support, so stake tall plants to prevent them being damaged.
April can be the most positive month, full of gardening promises. It is wonderful to see the trees and shrubs awaken from their winter dormancy and burst into life. Let’s hope for some warm weather too.