Make the most of your garden this month
I’m sure I won’t be alone in shouting a big HOORAY for the sure signs of spring we’ve been witnessing recently! This is a wonderful time of the year as we spot lambs in the fields, start leaving for work in that welcome early morning light, and perhaps even brave a beer garden or two (coats still firmly on, of course).
It’s also a brilliant time of year for the garden, as new buds and shoots start to burst into bright colour and the bare branches of trees become adorned with delicate blossoms. It’s so uplifting to get out in the garden and welcome in the new season – and the good news is, there’s plenty to do this month to prepare for the summer months ahead.
First, an important one: April is generally your very last chance for deadheading roses and other shrubs, so if you haven’t completed your pruning yet time is of the essence! New growth will be coming through so you can get a clearer idea of any damage inflicted by the colder months – nourish these delicate new leaves and buds with plenty of good fertiliser like blood, fish and bone. Hoe lightly through the soil – roses are really greedy and will hoover up whatever they’re given! Strong fertiliser can also be used on hedges and other shrubs for a nutrient boost to really get them going.
Some other ideas for your garden this month include:
Lay down the lawn
Spring sunshine makes April the ideal month for carrying out some lawn maintenance. Rake your lawn thoroughly to see off any dead weeds, twigs and the like before applying a combined lawn treatment all over your grassy areas. This will fertilise the grass, giving it a boost, as well as killing off troublesome weeds. Sow grass seed on any bare patches for a full, lush lawn that you won’t be able to resist sitting out on!
Support your climbers
Rambling plants and climbing veg need all the support they can get as they approach their spring growth spurt, and you’ll save yourself a lot of faff later if you get the supporting ticked off this month. Simple supports can be picked up cheaply at garden centres, or if you’re feeling creative hazel twigs and bamboo serve extremely well too. For peas and beans, it’s a good idea to add mesh or wire fencing in between the supports to give the numerous plants enough room to cling on to!
Start sowing outdoors
Once the ground reaches around 6 degrees celsius, you can start to sow salad leaves and annual herbs including dill and rocket, as well as brassicas and hardy veg like parsnips and cabbages. Just make sure you give your seedlings the best start by thoroughly prepping your vegetable bed, forking through plenty of good quality compost. Read my blog on starting your own compost heap here.
Bring some spring colour to your plot
Daffodils are the quintessential British springtime flowers, and the good news is these hardy perennials are really easy to maintain. There are loads of different varieties, sizes and colours ranging from a glowing orange to the palest creamy yellow. Simply deadhead them as the flowers fade, and they’ll surprise you year after year! Other great low-maintenance springtime flowers to try include tulips, cyclamen, crocus, Narcissi and pansies – great for brightening up the garden even as those inevitable April showers make themselves known!
Are you as excited about the next few months as I am?! Happy gardening!