Jobs for the Garden in April

Spring is in the air, as soon as the daffodils have poked through and the promise of longer, warmer days arrive, there is a sudden itch to get outdoors and become productive. The hibernation period is over with and life everywhere is re-emerging. The wise will use this time to get ahead and get organised, by doing so means as the season progresses there will be more time spent enjoying the fruits of your labour than actually having to do more labour.

Garden Maintenance

1. Mow the lawn once it begins to re-grow, also re-cut edges with an edging tool.

2. Keep putting out food for garden birds, as the breeding season gets underway.

3. Prune out any wind-damaged branches on trees and shrubs. Also, prune dogwoods, willows, cotinus and paulownias right down to the base to promote vigorous new growth.

4. Remove any emerging shoots of perennial weeds, such as ground elder, removing every bit of root you come across.

5. Protect the new shoots of susceptible perennials like Hosts from early slug damage.

 Flowers

1. Prune roses and plant new ones.

2. Begin sowing hardy annuals like nasturtiums and poppies.

3. Begin planting summer flowering bulbs in pots and borders.

4. Pick off any developing seed heads on spring bulbs like daffodils and let foliage die-back naturally.

5. Feed ericaceous shrubs, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and pieris, with an ericaceous fertiliser

Greenhouse

1. Take cuttings from dahlia tubers planted last month to raise new plants

2. Start indoors to transplant into the garden later, such as celeriac, celery, lettuces and parsley

3. Protect sowings of beans, peas, mangetouts and sweet peas from hungry mice

4. Open greenhouse vents on sunny days to prevent humidity from building up

5. Sow dwarf French beans in a large pot for an early indoor crop in June

 Fruit & Vegetables

1. Plant early potatoes in trenches, or in large tubs if space is limited.

2. In a weed-free bed plant onions and shallots, with a spacing of 10-15cm apart

3. Sow tomatoes, sweet peppers, aubergines and chillies in pots indoors.

4. Make the first outdoor sowings of hardy veg, such as spinach. Cover them to protect with a cloche or fleece.

5. Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, at a depth of 10-15cm, spaced about 30cm apart 

 

Stayed tuned for more gardening tips and next Aprils gardening jobs list!

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