In many ways the weather in April is generally much more pleasant and benign. The famous ‘April Showers’ offer much needed moisture to plants during short hot spells, but temperatures and conditions can and do swing wildly from cold and damp to warm and dry. Probably for the first time, it is the first period in which the garden workload can suddenly and dramatically increase.
Hopefully the persistent lower temperatures and dampness of late winter/early spring will improve so that the soil temperatures will increase and provide a very noticeable surge in growth. Each and every day seems to bring new surprises, new additions and plenty of vibrant colours. April can be a wonderful month in the garden and to witness a period bursting with activity, excitement and delights.
Key tasks this month:
- Last opportunity to plant any bare root trees, shrubs or hedging.
- Herbaceous perennials over mtime can form large clumps and become very congested. Now is an ideal time to divide and re-plant. Simply dig out large clump and separate using garden fork or spade and re-plant. Ideally this process should be repeated every 3-5 years.
- Time to plant summer flowering bulbs (Dahlia, Gladiola, Lily etc). Also good time to plant evergreen shrubs and trees.
- Apply a top dressing of bark mulch to planted beds to conserve moisture and impede weeds. Also creates an attractive neat and tidy look to the border. (Tip: water soil before applying top dressing)
- Continue to cut/remove the faded blooms of spring bulbs, do not remove foliage for at least 4-6 weeks in order to allow the bulbs to replenish food resources for next year.
- Lawns can be cut more regularly now especially if ground conditions are firm and dry. General lawn care includes tidy edges, rake and remove thatch. Apply a weed & feed to encourage healthy grass growth and discourage weeds, but be careful, grass can be easily damaged ‘scorched’ with excess dosage, if in doubt use liquid feeds. Wet area first before applying liquid feed.
- Check planted borders for any new weeds, a quick tidy up with the hoe will significantly reduce the need for any weeding later in season. Remove any blooming invasive weeds such as Dandelion which will self seed profusely throughout the garden. Might help to remember, ‘One year’s seeding is seven years weeding’.