The forecasters are predicting that the start of April will be a much cooler than the warmer days we have enjoyed in mid to end of March. However, Spring is still on the way and we have lots to do in our gardens preparing for the warmer months ahead. The weather may be unsettled but we can still get outside and work in our gardens whenever the weather allows.
There may still be some leaves lurking under shrubs and other corners in your garden so these can be raked out and flowerbeds tidied up, cutting back any perennials which may still have the old growth from last summer.
Mowing and edging
We can mow 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.
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
Spring is the best time for creating new container displays. If you have the space, pot up your plug plants into larger pots as this will be cheaper than buying bigger pot plants later in the season. 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 on a sunny window cill.
Maintaining water butts and water features
If you have a pond or water feature, consider giving it a little post-winter maintenance. Clear out ponds: lift put any planting baskets and fish (keeping these in buckets of old pond water), bail out the water, remove sludge and refill with collected rainwater if 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, these can sometimes become blocked with sludge or 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 in any strong winds.
As the weather warms up, the weeds also start to make an appearance. Keep on top of them by hoeing between plants and treating any paths or driveways with your preferred weedkiller.
As the middle month of Spring, April is such a positive time, full of gardening promises. It is so uplifting to see the trees and shrubs awaken from their winter dormancy and burst into life, ready for the growing season ahead.