April Gardening Tips
April is such an exciting month in the garden. The birds are in fantastic voice as I write and it will not be long before the blossom lights up our fruit trees, particularly the Quince which always excels. Soon it will be time to dead head the daffodils, but do not cut the foliage back just yet because the bulbs need this to photosynthesise to feed the bulb beneath the soil and promote great flowers again next year. Our tulips tend to come out later – but it depends on the variety and we have some that often flower into May.
Mind the Gap
It isn’t just the explosion of colour that makes April so special, although we all need some colour right now. As the borders come alive it is easier to see the gaps and this is the perfect time to fill them with permanent planting or colourful spring bedding plants. I love an excuse to treat myself to new plants. We have also been mulching the borders with our home made compost, to help with weed control and water retention. The borders look pretty smart though I say so myself.
If you have clematis or other climbers that need some support now is the time to build that arch, install that obelisk or put up some trellis. I have two white flowering clematis which I have noticed are putting on a good deal of growth and forming flower buds. I need to tie in the shoots on the wooden supports they are growing up to obtain an even spread of foliage and flowers. If I fail to do this I will just end up with a mop of intertwined stems hanging down. Beware, the new shoots are quite fragile and liable to break.
Having been tempted again by summer flowering bulbs I bought some Gladioli corms and Dahlia tubers I should be able to plant those soon with a view to having flowers to cut for the house in high summer. I have also bought some new raspberry canes this spring to add to our collection. I chose Malling Jewel because it is an old and reliable variety with an RHS award of garden merit. These should perform really well in the years to come. One day I may make that jam – so far I have only got as far as the good intention stage, and a significant collection of jars.
There is still time to sow seeds for summer bedding in the greenhouse or conservatory and prick out sowings made in March. Sow tomatoes in pots in the greenhouse or on a windowsill. This is also an ideal month to sow a new lawn or to re-seed areas that have become worn.
Visit our gardening advice page for more information.
I hope you have a very enjoyable April.