The Gardener’s Calendar in April
Tools with the comely names, Mattock and scythe and spade,
Couth and bitter as flames, Clean, and bowed in the blade,
A man and his tools make a man and his trade.
– Vita Sackville West
April is when gardens really start to bloom! Everything is shooting up…including the weeds so be sure to hoe regularly between plants. April is a busy month in the garden whether you are growing vegetables or flowers. Give tender plants an early start by planting under cover, a cold frame will really help when temperatures plummit overnight but be sure to ventilate during the day and the longer sunlight can raise temperatures too high.
So, what’s to do in your garden in April:
- Protect flowering fruit trees and bushes from any late frosts with netting. Feed as soon as the spring growth starts to show.
- Prepare seed beds for May sowing of seeds, it’ll give them chance to settle before sowing.
- Plant Gladioli, dead head early flowering bulbs including Daffodils and Narcissus as soon as they go over
- Stake tall flowering lilies to protect from the wind and heavy April showers
- Lift, clean, divide and re-plant spring flowering rock plants such as Gentians and Saxifrages
- Apply mulch to Roses
- Rather than prune large shrubs try layering this year and then starting with the new plants next year. Now is a good time to layer shrubs such as Hydrangeas, Magnolias and Hamamelis to replace aging stock. For more infromation on layering techniques ask any of our staff.
- Place supporting canes for taller flowering Pinks, Carnations etc
- Last chance to lift and divide perennials. Add supporting sticks for any which flopped over last year.
- Complete sowing of hardy and half-hardy annuals. Watch for aphids and mildew.
- Apply early lawn-care e.g. feed and weed, mosskiller etc.