April is a wonderful time of year for any gardener, as winter comes to an end; plants seem to compete against each other growing fast and revealing their true beauty.
It is also the month when the lawnmower revs up for a summer of cutting the grass, an enjoyable task that leaves lawns looking lovely along with giving the spring aroma of freshly mowed grass.
There are numerous jobs to do in an April garden however here are some of the most enjoyable for you to look forward to this month.
The Vegetable Garden
This is the time of year for planting salad crops, a fulfilling pastime for the impatient gardener as many lettuces take only four weeks before they are ready to eat. You can also plant beetroot, radishes, peas, beans, carrots, onions and more potatoes.
The Fruit Garden
The cherry should be blossoming now tempting you with the promise of fruit in the future. Check for bugs, pests or diseases and treat accordingly. Peach blossom will benefit from a fine spray of water to open the buds, whilst removing flowers from immature runners such as strawberries will ensure your crop is sweeter.
Your orchard needs to be protected against frost even at this time of the year, so as the tree blossoms make sure you mulch around the base to give an extra layer to the roots of the tree.
The Herb Garden
Now you can sow dill, fennel, marjoram and thyme outdoors. To protect against wind consider using mature lavender or rosemary plants as a border. This provides shelter as well as giving your herb garden an instant lift.
The Water Garden
You can now plant Water Lilies and Iris in the pond, pushing the tubers gently into soft soil. Be careful not to disturb too much as frog spawn may be lurking on the surface!
The Flower Garden
Towards the end of the month you can plant Dahlias however be careful to protect new shoots from frost as they arrive. You can also plant carnations and pinks, sweet peas and lilies. It’s still a little early to plant out gladioli bulbs however you can prepare the ground by weeding and adding a little fish manure.
The Shrub Garden
In showery weather you can continue to plant trees and shrubs adding a little mulch to protect against frosts. You can also prune shrubs that have already finished flowering such as the forsythia. The buddleia will also benefit from some hard pruning, whereas established lavenders will thank you for removing dry straggly branches.
What to do with the Daffodils?
Many people believe that the daffodil should be left to expire, as this releases goodness back into the bulb for the following year. However, this is not always possible as dead and wilting daffodils can look unsightly. The choice is personal, however if using tulips or daffodils for cut flowers, it is a good idea to hand weed around the bulbs to give you good access to the flowers as well as tidying up the border.