Spring is in full swing and there’s lots to be getting on with outside. Put in the effort in to these April garden jobs now so that you can reap the rewards throughout Summer.
Here’s a summary, but scroll down if you want more information on any of these jobs!
In the vegetable plot:
- Plant onions and shallots
- Sow hard veg and herbs outside
In the flower beds:
- Keep on top of weeds!
- Watch our for Aphids
- Design your herbaceous borders
- Feed roses and shrubs
Around the garden:
- Plant hanging baskets
In the vegetable plot …
Plant onions and shallots
April is the month to plant those onion and shallots in your vegetable plot. Make sure your site is weed free, has well-drained soil and is located in a sunny spot. Plant them in rows about 10cm apart with 20cm between each row.
Sow hardy veg and herbs outside
Many vegetables are hardy enough to be grown from seed outside – onions and carrots are just two examples. Uncover your beds and level the surface with a rake to give a fine crumb surface, then pull out any remaining weeds that have sprung up. Check your seed packed for the depth of drill (trench) required, and use a cane to mark out your row. If the soil is dry, water the row before you plant the seeds. Now thinly scatter them in the bottom of the drill and then gently cover them up with soil to fill the trench in. Don’t forget to put a label peg at the end of the drill so you can remember where it is and what’s in it!
In the flower beds …
Keep on top of the weeds!
Like your plants, weeds will really start to grow in April, so make sure you spend some time properly dealing with those pesky blighters! Pull out any annual weeds, which should come out easily and use a weed killer containing glyphosate to kill the perennials.
Watch out for Aphids.
As it starts to get warmer, Aphids such as Green Fly and Black Fly will start to multiply this month. Start checking your plants, especially roses and squash any you see. If you find a real cluster on them you’ll need to get some insecticides, such as Roseclear, and give them a real good spray. If you’re looking for a children, pet and wildlife friendly alternative, try a product such as Resolva Natural Powder spray.
Design your herbaceous borders
Herbaceous borders are one of our favourites here at Bell Plantation and now is the time to get designing them. They bring a range of colour and variety to your garden and getting your border looking amazing is a really good challenge for a gardener. Make sure you clear your bed properly and place out where you want each plant to go. Leave 30cm between each plant to give them enough space to flower well, mulch around the tops of the plants and water in well. Then apply crushed grit or wool pellets to protect your plants from slugs and snails.
Feed roses and shrubs
It’s time to give your roses and shrubs a good feed as this will really benefit them as they come into growth. Feed them with a balanced fertiliser such as fish blood and bone or Growmore which will really bring out the best in your plants.
Around the garden …
Plant your hanging baskets
Hanging baskets are such an easy way to add colour to your garden, and even the smallest balcony has space for one! As the weather really starts to warm up (make sure we’ve had the last frost), fill them with your favourite summer annuals. Put a layer of sphagnum moss in the bottom and up the sides of the basket as a liner. Fill the basket up with compost and put in an assortment of plants to bring some real colour to your garden. You could choose to stick to one colour for dramatic effect or use a riot of different colours!
If you want to get a head start before the last frosts, and you have a greenhouse, start your hanging baskets off inside from late March. Then harden them off by putting them outside for a few hours a day from mid April. They’ll be ready to go out from late May onwards.