April Gardening Tips and Snips
Spring is finally here! Add instant colour and character to your patio by planting up pots and planters. Add a controlled-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel to compost to make life easy when feeding and watering. Our range of self-watering planters and hanging baskets are the perfect solution for keeping plants healthy whilst you’re away over the summer months, see our range here.
During April, it’s important to remove the faded flowers and seed heads of spring-flowering bulbs- summer is only around the corner! Remember to feed the plants during and after flowering too. We recommend a soluble plant food applied over the foliage and around the roots to ensure maximum nutrition, which will help to increase the size of bulbs, and ensure another pretty display next year!
Clean Up Your Act
By now you should have checked for and carried out any necessary repairs around the garden so it’ll be ready for summer! Get cleaned up this month if you haven’t already with a good path and patio cleaner. We recommend Algon, our best-seller. Not only will it keep working on your paths and patios, and ensure they remain looking clean, you can use it on greenhouses, glass, and plastic furniture and even on your guttering!
Start collecting seedlings now from tender bedding plants to start potting up young plug plants and cuttings. They’ll grow strong and sturdy over the next month or so, and will be ready to plant once the final frosts have disappeared. We recommend using fresh potting compost, and new seed trays, pots and cell trays unless you can eat your dinner off your old ones! Remember to protect the young plants with horticultural fleece, it’s not quite as warm as it seems just yet!
If you’re wondering what to sow this month, here’s what we’d recommend. Now makes a great time to sow a selection of hardy annuals outside, such as: sweet peas, sunflowers, marigolds and cornflowers. Great ideas for indoors are: annual climbers, and tender vegetables, all of which will be ready for planting out next month.
Love your Lawn
Grass will begin to grow quickly at this time of year, so make sure you start mowing regularly. Whilst mowing, pay attention to bare patches, moss invasion and weeds, and deal with them now before summer arrives. Buy grass feed now to guarantee a healthy, lush green lawn.
Safe as Greenhouses
It’s full steam ahead in the greenhouse this month. Keep a watch on temperatures this month during both the daytime and throughout the night to avoid fatal extreme temperatures. Arm yourself with heaters and vent openers, to guard against frost and sizzling sun. Make sure all plants are hardened off before planting outdoors- investing in a cold frame would be an ideal solution.
If you’re thinking about growing your own this year, then April makes a great time for buying grow bags and keeping them in the shed, garage or greenhouse, allowing the compost to warm up, ready for planting later on in the year. Put young tomato, pepper, cucumber and other plants into growing bags- or 9 to 10 inches of compost as soon as they’re big enough to transplant. Don’t forget to show them some support- we have plenty suitable solutions!
It’s getting warmer by the day, which can only mean one thing….watch out for pesky pests and diseases! Slugs and snails are a particular problem at this time of year because all the lush green new leaves are so good for them. We’ll soon sort that out with ready-to use sprays, pellets and liquid killers to keep your leaves looking luscious!
Plant up now? Really?
Not many people realise that you can actually start planting up hanging baskets and planters now, you just need to keep them inside where they’ll still get a good amount of light and protection from frost. If you want stunning displays in your garden over the summer, take it as a tip from us to plant up now, and reap the view later on in the year!
Give them the best!
Your outdoor plants deserve the best start to this year, and the best way to do that is to make sure you feed them now! Sprinkle the fertiliser around the root area and work it into the top inch of soil. If the soil is dry, make sure you water it well, or the fertiliser will burn the roots. If you’re looking for a simple solution, controlled release fertilisers are the easiest way- simply feed and forget!
Show your support
It can still be quite windy throughout April, so keep a close eye on tall and floppy herbaceous plants, especially if you have quite and exposed garden. Ensure they get all the support they need before getting damaged by putting in plant supports to help prevent problems later on in the year, when it’ll probably be too late to do anything about it!
Now is an extremely important time to mulch the soil with a good thick layer of organic material (compost or bark chippings) considering the recent hosepipe ban imposed across South Eastern parts of the UK. Mulching will not only keep weeds at bay, but ensure moisture is kept within the soil, and also keep the soil at an optimum temperature.