April Jobs in the Garden
1 CommentFriday, 12 April 2019 | Alison
April Jobs for the Garden
April can be a tricky month in the garden and it is always weather related.
One minute it can be sunny and showing distinct signs of warmth, lulling us into a false sense of security, in that we start planting tender annuals out in the garden, and then in the next minute it is bringing us back down to earth and sensibility by battering us and our precious plantlets with hail. So err on the side of caution and don't plant out too early.
Hardy evergreens and deciduous shrubs and trees do what comes naturally and make a welcome sight in our gardens during April. Evergreens put on a spurt of fresh new growth. Deciduous shrubs like Hydrangeas and Spireas begin to show their leaves and buds and Spring flowering trees burst into life with their breathtaking blossoms, with the promise of fruits and berries to come in the coming months.
However, there are plenty of tasks to be getting on with in the garden and greenhouse this month.
Here is the Brookside Nursery guide to jobs in the garden this month:-
*Deadhead daffodils once they have flowered, but leave the leaves to die away naturally. The bulb needs the energy taken from the leaves to ensure it flowers again next year. Tulips are the same, so once they have flowered, snip off the tops, not the leaves.
*Clematis are growing like mad in April and if you are not quick about it and tie them into their allotted spot in the garden, they will become a mass and mess where they want, rather than where you want, especially if they are the summer flowering ones reaching only 2m or so. It really is worth taking a few minutes to keep them in check.
If growing them up a fruit tree I find that they are best left alone to scramble up the trunk, branches and twigs and the early flowering Clematis Montana is a good choice for this. The scent is heavenly once the pretty pastel pink flowers come out.
*Many perennials are beginning to regrow in April and now the new shoots are showing, you will be able to see how certain plants may be outgrowing their area. Hemerocallis, Shasta daisies and Echinacea are some they may need dividing. The best option is to dig up the whole plant and divide it into two or three, replanting some of the plant back into the original place. You can then plant your new (free) plants into another area of the border.
*Quite often we tend to our borders and containers and think that the grassy bit in between, our lawn, looks after itself, and to a degree that is the case. But April is the best month to give lawns some TLC. So if you haven't done so already, give your grass its first mow of the season, smarten up the edges, and feed with a good all rounder that treats weeds as well as being a fertiliser. Rake up any dead mossy thatchy areas, fill in with topsoil and brush over to fill any gaps.
*Tidy and reshape hydrangeas, dogwoods (Cornus) and willows that have been giving winter colour and structure. The harder you prune dogwoods the more vibrant next winters new stems will be.
*Give the greenhouse a spring clean , inside and out. If you are taking off winter bubble wrap then be aware that more tender plants will need a bit more protection overnight if a cold snap is forecast. Clean pots ready for cuttings or growing on plug plants. Check regularly underneath pots for slugs as they are always lurking.
It's National Gardening Week from 29th April - 5th May this year and many RHS gardens are putting on special events so keep an eye open for these. Many other smaller venues will be doing the same . It is all to encourage everyone to get out into the garden and enjoy sowing, planting, growing and harvesting with this year's theme being 'Edible Britain'. As the Easter hols are around the same time you will find many gardens will be encouraging children to 'Grow Your Own'.
Have fun and enjoy your garden!