What to do in your garden in April?

What to do in your garden in April?

In April, it really looks like spring in the garden. Although there’s still a chance of late frosts, the days are definitely warmer and everything is starting to grow again. It’s time to grab your tools and get out there. Here’s our list of the most important jobs for you to do in your garden this April.

 

What to sow in April

It’s still slightly too early to sow half-hardy and tender plants outdoors, but definitely, time to sow them indoors in small pots or modules. If you’re new to vegetable growing, here are a few firm favourites to sow indoors now:

  • Tomatoes
  • Runner beans
  • French beans
  • Squash
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumber

You can sow some seeds outdoors now, including broad beans, wildflower seed mixes and hardy annuals such as cornflowers, love-in-the-mist and Californian poppies. You can even make a start on next winter’s dinners by sowing Brussels sprouts and parsnip seeds.

If you’ve already got tomato seedlings lining your windowsill or greenhouse shelves, pot them on into slightly larger pots, but don’t put them outside until the end of the month.

 

What to plant in April

April is the perfect time to plant herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. It’s also a good time to lift and divide any of your existing perennials that are in need of a boost.

In the vegetable garden, plant early potatoes. If you remembered to chit them last month, give yourself a pat on the back, as this should give you a better harvest. But if you didn’t get round to chitting, plant your spuds anyway – potatoes are very forgiving plants. Plant onion sets and garlic cloves now too, for a late summer harvest.

 

Weeding, feeding and tidying

Pruning early flowering shrubs in AprilAs the plants start to grow, so do the weeds, so keep on top of them as they appear. A Dutch hoe is your best friend for dealing with annual weeds like chickweed and hairy bittercress, letting you cut them down at a swipe without spending hours on your knees. Sadly, perennial nasties like bindweed and dandelions will still need digging out by the roots with a hand fork.

Feed your roses and tie climbing and rambling roses back to supports. And don’t forget to mulch your borders with a 5cm (2in) thick layer of compost. Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your soil. It adds nutrients, improves the soil structure and helps retain moisture, meaning less watering needed in summer.

Prune early-flowering shrubs like Viburnum x bodnantense, forsythia and Chaenomeles (Japanese quince) once they’ve finished flowering. Now’s also the time to hard prune dogwoods (Cornus sibirica and Cornus alba) to encourage next winter’s crop of brightly coloured stems.

Give your garden a bit of attention now and you’ll reap the rewards all through summer. If you’re looking for inspiration for your garden this April, why not pop down to your local garden centre and see what’s in store?

You might also be interested in:

Home trends: sustainability in interior design

It’s important to consider sustainability in interior design, as we all become far more aware of our environment and the need to live a life where we are responsible for everything we do that impacts our planet. This extends to inside the home as well as our gardens and outside spaces. When we design and decorate it is very important to think about all aspects inside our home and not just that it needs to be aesthetically pleasing but also good for the environment. Think about implementing the below into your interior design projects and you will be putting sustainability at the fore of your home. 

Read more...
How to encourage late summer flowers?

It is easy to encourage late summer flowers for as long as possible, all year round, and whilst it can be a little more tricky during the cold winter months, there are definitely ways to extend the flowering season in your garden to as late in the year as possible. We’ve put together these ideas to help you encourage those last summer flowers to enjoy for as long as you can. 

Read more...
Top vegetable growing tips for July

 ‘In July the sun is hot / Is it shining / No, it’s not!’ As musical comedy duo Flanders and Swann pointed out back in the sixties, the weather in July can be chancy, but nevertheless, it’s a great month for gardeners. The days are long, and you can start to really enjoy the fruits of your labours in the veg patch. To make this year your best harvest ever, here are a few tips on what to do now, as well as how to get the better of plant pests and diseases.

Read more...
Garden plant of the moment: Anemone

Late in summer, as other flowers start to fade, Japanese anemones come into their own. With their elegant sculpted flowers on long graceful stems and their bold maple-like leaves, they’re an unmissable presence in the border well into autumn. Happiest in partial shade, they’re ideal for brightening up dull spots in the garden, and once they’re settled they’ll spread and come back year after year. Here’s how to make sure your Japanese anemones grow and flourish.

Read more...