April


 

Prune: 
Trim hedges and topiaries before the start of winter.

Fertilizers:

Flower beds
Apply 3:1:5 SR (N) or 8:1:5 for roses and flowers every 4-6 weeks.

Veggie and herb gardens
Apply 2:3:4 every 4-6 weeks, for good roots. If you are planting leafy vegetables like spinach, use a fertiliser high in nitrogen like 7:1:3, every alternate month.

Containers and indoor plants
Feed every 4-6 weeks with a water- soluble fertiliser, or use a specifically formulated food for plants like African violets, orchids and ferns. You can also use a granular fertiliser like 8:1:5 in single specimen containers.

 

General to do List:

  • There is plenty to do this month in the garden as this is planting season. Keep weeding, but keep this to the minimum and leave seedheads for the birds and cover for wildlife.
  • Leave fallen leaves to rot down, but destroy any diseased plant material as soon as possible. Any other plant material can be composted.
  • Prepare the soil. Add plenty of compost, manure and organic matter as you can.
  • Keep watering pots and containers daily and check for wilting leaves before it’s too late. The soil should not be allowed to dry out completely.
  • Add plenty of mulch and make sure trees and shrubs are free of grass around their base.
  • Plant shrubs, trees, fruit bushes, perennials, climbers, annuals and bulbs in abundance now . Check if the rootball is moist before planting or plunge into a bucket of water before planting.
  • Stake young trees.
  • Prune tall shrubs and conifers making sure not to trim the old wood.
  • Remove any diseased or unproductive stems from roses and support new shoots in windy areas.
  • While the lawn is still growing, mow once a fortnight with the blades on high for the final few cuts. If you haven’t already done so, carry out the autumn lawn care programme of scarifying, aerating, repairing, top dressing and feeding with low nitrogen autumn lawn food.
  • Sow lawn seed after good preparation of the surface. Lay new turf at this time of the year.
  • Harvest everything left in the veggie garden. Any stringy veggies can be composted or left on the plant to harvest the seed.
  • Dig up root crops such as potatoes, beetroot and carrots and dry before storing.
  • Harvest pumpkins and squashes and leave in the sun for the skin to harden and dry for a few days before storing.
  • Once parts of the vegetable garden are clear, dig over and add plenty of compost as soon as possible. Leave peas and bean plants in the ground as they provide valuable nitrogen in the soil and act as a green manure. Cut the stems off for the compost heap and leave the roots. Earmark this space for leafy vegetables that need loads of nitrogen.
  • Plant winter lettuces, onions, cabbages and in mild areas broad beans and garlic. Cover with fleece or clear cloches for insulation and protection from birds.
  • Remove yellow leaves from brassicas such as brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli to prevent disease.
  • Plant mint, parsley and chives for winter.
  • Plant strawberries and water regularly.