Your Garden In April
GARDENING ADVICE AND HELPFUL TIPS
Spring is here, so let's bring the bees and beneficial wildlife back to our gardens
April is a lovely month in the garden, with spring bulbs looking fabulous and blossom on many of the trees. Our gardens are springing back to life and new growth can be seen everywhere. Late winter-flowering shrubs are finishing but their colour is quickly replaced by pretty blooms of Ribes, Magnolia, Rhododendron and many others.
Spring is all about bright, vibrant colours, so now is a great time to freshen up borders and maybe add something new. Before you get started, remove any weeds you can see, turning over the soil as you go. Any remaining perennials that need dividing should be sorted now, and you can also divide congested clumps of primroses once they've finished flowering.
If you're lucky enough to have a collection of lovely, big Hostas in your garden, you can divide these now if they're getting too big. As soon as you see those little spikes poking up through the soil, carefully dig up the whole plant and use an old bread knife to slice through the clump. As long as each piece has a visible shoot attached to a section of root then it will make a new plant that will grow happily once replanted. Remember to water generously when replanting all sections.
Finish off by digging in a 5cm layer of compost or well-rotted manure and working in a general-purpose fertiliser too to give your plants that added boost. You might want to feed any trees or hedges at the same time, lightly forking in a slow release fertiliser around the bases.
Remove any remaining dead foliage on perennials and ornamental grasses to make way for new growth, and prune Forsythias once they've finished flowering. Plants like honeysuckle and Clematis are putting on growth now, so train the new shoots to their supports and tie in.
If you're adding new plants, please consider those that attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden. Now the weather is warmer, it's a great idea to encourage these garden friends as they provide a natural control to unwanted pests. You can attract bees, butterflies, lacewings and ladybirds to your garden by planting the nectar- and pollen-rich plants which they love.
Plants like Erysimum (wallflowers), Scabiosa, Lavandula and Achillea are all ideal for attracting bees and other pollinators, and have the added benefit of bringing beautiful colour, and often scent, to your garden. There are many more wildlife-attracting perennials and shrubs to choose from; have a look online or ask for advice in your garden centre. The benefits these creatures bring, in terms of pest control and enabling other plants to set fruit and seeds, cannot be overstated.
If you're looking for a show stopping plant for a container, consider the award-winning Rhododendron 'Nancy Evans', with its gorgeous yellow flowers tinged orangey-pink at the edges. Compact and evergreen, with attractive foliage, it offers year-round interest.
APRIL ON THE VEG PLOT
Things are getting busier on the plot with the warmer weather and longer days. Try to make use of the holiday weekend, because there is plenty to do.
Plant out all seed potatoes in pots or open ground by the end of this month. Earth up when plants are 15cm tall or if frost is forecast. This action prevents the frost touching the foliage and blackening or killing it.
Sow French and runner beans under cover mid-month to plant out mid-May. Sow 1 or 2 seeds to a tall 9cm pot, in seed compost. Do not over water as this may rot the seed. Erect cane supports in readiness for runner and climbing beans; and prepare netting to support peas.
We will now stock veg plants ready to fill your beds. Remember to harden off before planting out and have fleece handy for colder nights. Sow leeks and summer cabbages on a seedbed for transplanting later in season, ensuring you'll have young plants ready to transplant when spaces become available.
Place grow bags in the greenhouse to warm up ready for planting out tomatoes later in the month or early May. Weeds will be growing now so keep your hoe handy and use often.
thanks to https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/