A month where you really start to get into the swing of things with a Spring in your step. April almost has you within touching distance of the summer months, but that isn’t to forget that there is plenty to do and enjoy while you’re in Spring. It’s time to grab your gardening equipment, and maybe even your sunglasses, and get straight to it.
As April will be much drier than previous months this year, make sure to keep watering your plants. The warmer weather also invites unwelcome guests to your plants, such as slugs and snails, that will cause serious damage to new plants.
If you transferred your plants from the greenhouse to a cold area last month, you should keep doing gradually acclimatising them (while still protecting them).
As long as the soil hasn’t been waterlogged due to the ever-present British weather, April should be the time to move your trees and evergreen shrubs, sooner rather than later.
As you prepare for summer, you should make sure you’re as ready as you can be. Start by pinching out the tips of both your fuchsia shoots and sweet pea plants, so encourage bushy and healthy growth next season.
Herbaceous Perennials will also need a lot of attention. To improve vigour, lift and divide them and remember to mulch the soil when planting. This will hold moisture and reduce the need to water in dry weather.
Tying plants in is a very common task during April. Here are some of the plants you should look at supporting this month.
If you’ve got any penstemons, then you should cut back all the old shoots to just above the lowest set of leaves or new shoots. Forsythia will also need to be pruned as they’ve finished flowering. Cut them back to their younger, stronger shoots.
See any empty patches? That’s where weed seedlings will look to thrive in your plot. Hoe over them to prevent weeds from ruining your vegetables. Once you’ve done so, you’ll then be able to sow your vegetable seeds into the ground without running the risk of weeds. Although you’ll be able to start sowing salad crops every two weeks, you will have to wait until the end of April to sow sweetcorn, squash and runner beans. When sowing pea seedlings, put supports in to avoid disturbing their roots.
Protecting your plants overnight is a cause for concern for any gardener, so provide some cover for your crops for protection. If you’re unable to protect any tender vegetable plants (courgettes, plants, etc), consider buying them in pots or strips.
Leaf curl is a real risk this month so make sure to spray your peaches and nectarines to protect them from disease. To keep them healthy, hand pollinate your fruit with a paint brush and protect blossom from the cold with a fleece.
For the most part, general maintenance will be all you need to keep on top of your plants. Keep feeding and mulching your fruit trees and bushes, as well as your raspberry canes.
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