April garden guide: Tips to help keep your garden in sharp shape

Residential


As the colder months are settling in, now is the last chance to get your winter vegetable garden underway.


Now's the time to plant your bulbs for Spring flowering as well as establishing or repairing your lawn. 


What are the most important jobs to accomplish this month?

  • Use an excellent all-purpose fertiliser like Sheep Pellets will improve both plant and soil condition, it's a great time to dig this into both your vegetable and flower garden.
  • Trim back all your Summer perennials when flowering has finished. These can be dug up, then divided and replanted, or wait for them to resprout back in Spring.
  • Be sure to prune back flowering hydrangeas as well as hebes that have finished flowering.
  • Dead-head your established roses. Start to plan for your new season roses, these roses will begin arriving in late May so start preparing new planting sites now with compost.
  • To see what to plant and when in your area, you can download this handy planting calendar. Download this handy planting calendar to see what to plant in your area, and when.

Flower Garden

  • Autumn is the very best time to plant new shrubs and trees so that they can get established over the colder, wetter Winter months.
  • Remove the spent Summer flowering annuals, and plant your favourite Winter flowers. The best results will be because you've prepared the soil by digging in garden compost and fertiliser.
  • A great way of brightening up your garden or patio is by planting hanging baskets and pots with Winter flowering annuals.
  • It is time to plant sweetpeas now in a sunny spot - this will result in gorgeous Spring and Summer flowering.
  • Sow seeds of Alyssum, Aquilegia, Cineraria, Calendula, Cornflower, Dianthus, Godetia, English Daisy, Linaria, Lobelia, Livingstone Daisy, Lupin, Snapdragon, Nemesia, Viola and Statice.
  • There is still time to get your Spring bulbs planted.

Edible Garden

  • Now is a fantastic time to refresh your herb garden with winter mint, parsley, rosemary, chives and other Winter herbs.
  • Once all fruit trees have been harvested, be sure to spray free flow copper on your stone and pip fruit trees to protect against leaf blight, leaf curl, downy mildew, leaf spots, black spot and verrucosis.
  • Harvest the last of your late Summer vegetables, marrows, pumpkins, onions and potatoes, and store them in a cool, dry place.
  • A raised vegetable bed in Winter will help with drainage and is also able to improve growth as the soil in the raised beds warms with the Winter sun. Top tip: A layer of mulch will also help keep soil temperatures warm.
  • Will you be giving your vegetable patch a rest over Winter? Be sure to add nutrients back into the soil by sowing a crop of mustard seed or blue lupin which adds nitrogen and improves soil structure.
  • Now is the time to feed your citrus trees with a citrus tree fertiliser, this will promote strong healthy Autumn growth.
  • Be sure to transplant winter seedlings or sow seeds of broccoli, beetroot, broad beans, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, radish, onions, spinach, swedes and turnips directly into your garden bed.

Lawns

  • This is the best month to sow a new lawn or repairing your existing one.
  • Be sure to mix in Saturaid with your lawn seed and spread this over the area. Doing this will improve water penetration through the soil and reduce dry patches.

Do a Spring clean of your garden, remove anything you don't want to keep - essentially stripping the area back to bare soil. Be sure to put dead organic matter into the compost pile to decompose.

Weeds must be removed from the soil, either burn them or place them in the middle of a working compost pile, this is where the heat will kill it before any seeds can germinate.

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