04.2022 - April Gardening Tips
It's official, spring is now here! The vernal equinox has passed, the clocks have moved forward and we've all lost an hour in return for what we hope will be longer and much warmer days! Much of gardening is about thinking ahead and by now you should have planned what you want to plant and where or at the very least have a basic plan. It's what we do in the garden now that will really make the difference when we're spending time in it through the warmer months.
Summer Flowering Bulbs
If your garden tends to suffer from gaps in your borders during the summer months, then now is the perfect time to add a little colour by planting summer flowering bulbs. If you've never planted them before, then don't fear, it's as easy as planting spring flowering ones. You can use gladioli or delphinium to add height at the back of a border, lilies to fill gaps and crocosmia to provide colour from the middle of the summer through until late autumn.
Plant summer flowering bulbs straight into the ground or containers. If you're planting lilies we recommend planting bulbs quite deeply into pots with their growing tips facing upwards and covering them with a generous layer of compost all the way up to about 5cm below the rim of the pot. Water well and firm, adding more compost if required. A little bit of gravel will also help to keep the moisture in. Let the bulbs develop in the greenhouse or a sheltered spot and when the time comes, drop the pot and all, into your space. April is the month to choose and plant.
Getting back into the Garden
Hopefully the slightly warmer weather has given you the motivation you need to get back into the garden. If it hasn't then we're sure it soon will. With so much happening all at once, there's no time to rest; the season is now well under way.
What to Do Now
Start providing support for taller plants such as peonies, delphiniums, oriental poppies and any other plants that will need it as they grow. Keep lifting and dividing overgrown clumps of perennials.
If you don't have a compost heap then now would be a good time to start one. You can dedicate a small area of your garden to this and add to it regularly. Grass cuttings, left over vegetables and other organic matter can all be added. This will become an invaluable supply of nutrient rich humus that can be added to soil as a conditioner.
Do your bit and practice 'waterwise' gardening - add downpipes and guttering to sheds and areas where rainfall falls off and guide it into a water butt. A water butt will provide all the water that you need to keep your garden alive throughout the hot summer months. Plus, you will always have water outside which is not only handy, but also invaluable if there's a hosepipe ban! Not to mention the fact that plants actually prefer rainwater because it's healthier for them.
Gardening Jobs for This Month
- Keep on top of weeds.
- Feed roses and hungry shrubs.
- Tie climbing roses.
- Prune fig trees.
- Deadhead spring bedding to keep everything looking nice, Daffodils will also need dead heading; make sure you don't cut the leaves as these will be necessary for the replenishment of next year's bulb.
- Heavy rain can wash vital nutrients out of the soil. If it's been raining heavily in your area then fertilise if necessary.
- Protect the growth of new plants from slugs.
- Clean and repair garden tools.
- Check outdoor/garden furniture for rust and rot - replace if necessary.
- Repair any flood or storm damage from last winter's storms.