April’s here and spring has sprung at last!
As the weather warms up and early flowers start to bloom, all of a sudden there’s a load of jobs to do in the garden.
This month, there’s plenty to sow and grow in your garden, greenhouse and allotment. But there’s a lot more to do besides sowing and planting out. Here are your main garden jobs this April:
1. Prepare beds for the growing season. Dig in a 5cm (or more) layer of compost or well-rotted manure. You can also work in a general-purpose fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure, or fish, blood and bone
2. Pinch out the tips of fuchsia plants and sweet pea plant shoots, to encourage bushy growth this summer
3. Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a balanced, slow-release fertiliser, by lightly forking it into the soil surface. Roses, in particular, are greedy plants and will greatly benefit from feeding as they come into growth.
4. Tie in climbing roses, and new honeysuckle and clematis stems. These plants will be putting on growth now, and you’ll need to train them along their supports.
5. Deadhead daffodils and tulips as the flowers finish, but leave foliage intact, allowing it to die back naturally.
6. Harvest asparagus spears when they’re no more than 18 cm tall
7. Support pea and bean plants now.
8. Feed raspberry canes, fruit bushes and fruit trees to encourage good crops this season. Apply a slow-release fertiliser around their base.
9. Top up bird baths and bird feeding stations to encourage birds into your garden.
10. Look out for signs of pests and diseases; early prevention is easier than curing an infestation.
11. Top dress containers with fresh compost. If your containers are already full, replace the top 5 cm of old compost with fresh stuff.
12. Keep on top of weeding now that the weather is warming up. Run a hoe through beds and borders.
13. Apply weed killer to perennial weeds in paving and patios.
14. Check compost bins to see if you have any compost that’s ready to use.