April

Beds and Borders

Bare patches and gaps in the borders can now be sown with hardy annual flower seeds to achieve an easy display of summer colour. The area to be sown should be prepared by raking to a fine tilth before broadcasting the seeds directly onto the soil. Suitable seeds are available in a range of combined colour coordinated blends or individual varieties.

Hoe beds and borders regularly to keep weeds at bay and allow plants to grow. Now is the time to protect your perennials from slug damage, a range of products are available at the Garden Centre.

Keep vigilant for Red Lily Beetle damage. Bug Clear Ultra Gun and Bayer Provado Ultimate Bug Killer are both very effective against this serious problem. Damage may also occur on other plants within the lily family such as Fritillaria imperialis. Treat at first signs of damage and repeat as required.

Continue to feed your spring flowering bulbs with a low nitrogen fertiliser such as Tomorite or Chempak No 8 to build up the bulbs for future years. Remove spent flowers as they fade but leave the foliage to die down naturally.

Trees, Shrubs and Climbers

If the warmer weather is encouraging new growth on shrubs such as buddleia bushes and hardy fuchsias now is the time to cut back old growth. Hydrangea stems will also benefit from the stems being tidied up to encourage new buds to form.

Be patient and wait until your trees or shrubs have finished flowering before you attempt to trim them back into shape. Especially the spring flowering kind such as forsythia, winter jasmine, kerria and calluna heathers. Don’t attempt to prune your late flowering trees and shrubs at this time as this could damage new flowering buds.

A treatment of Miracle Gro Controlled release plant food should feed these shrubs for the rest of the growing season when applied as directed. Select the correct  fertiliser to suit the plants nutrient requirements and use as recommended.

Lawn

This is the time of year when lawns usually start their vigorous growth and grass cutting will need to be done on a regular basis to keep the lawns looking tidy and trim. However the more the grass is cut the nutrients at soil level will be depleted leaving the grass less nutrients to absorb to keep it strong and healthy and it may become pale. To help bring your lawn back to a healthy dark green treat it with Evergreen 4 in 1. This will also keep weeds such as dandelions, white clover and buttercups at bay and treat moss.

Fruit & Vegetables

This month is all systems go for sowing vegetable seeds. Leeks, Brussel Sprouts and autumn cabbage can be sown later in the month in trays or a seed bed to be transplanted later for growing on.

Now is the ideal time to plant out your seed potatoes. To encourage a good crop it is recommended to use a suitable fertiliser such as Organic Potato Fertiliser or Growmore. When shoots show above ground protection will be required if frost is forecast.

Pot on your greenhouse crops such as small sweet peppers and aubergines.

Remember to protect any outside strawberries that have started to flower against a sudden hard frost.

 


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