What to do in April

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Spring has arrived, the days are longer and warmer and this is a busy time in the garden. Although there will be April showers it can also be windy and dry with maybe an occasional frost. Water when necessary and be vigilant in protecting vulnerable plants and shrubs.

Although the weather is unpredictable many of the most colourful flowers bloom in April, bulbs giving a showy display and trees in blossom. Give the lawn some attention this month by mowing the grass frequently and applying a spring feed. There is still time to sow seed or lay turf ready for the summer.Tackle unsightly hedges and bushes with a trim.

There will be a lot of new growth this month and early in the month perennials can be lifted and divided and new ones planted. A good general fertiliser can be applied to established plants, organic types include home made comfry and pelleted chicken manure. Cuttings can be taken from geraniums, chrysanthemums, fuchsias and dahlias.

Spring has arrived, the days are longer and warmer and this is a busy time in the garden.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

With improving weather any cuttings you have taken last month can be hardened off in a cold frame during the day and taken in at night. Sweet peas, violas and pansies can be planted out now along with antirrhinums.

Potted plants need to be checked and re-potted if necessary and deadheading of daffodils can be done on a regular basis to prevent seed production and bulb weakening. Leave their foliage until it turns yellow and then remove. Leave snowdrops, crocus and muscari flowers on to help them naturalise. Check container plants, remove any that have died over winter and re pot if root bound. Place a saucer under pots to conserve moisture. Cut back lavender to new shoots being careful not to trim them off.

Mulch trees and shrubs to help prevent water loss. Grass cuttings, manure or well rotted compost are ideal to slow down evaporation as well as adding organic matter to the soil.

To prevent weeds becoming a problem try to hoe borders and beds at least once a week.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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