Jobs in the garden in April include:
- Sow lawn seed – it’s the time to sow new lawns or repair bare patches on existing ones.
- Keep on top of weeding – it will pay dividends later in the year – you may even ‘earn’ yourself the opportunity to sit and relax in the garden in the months to come as you will have less weeding to do!
- Tie in the new shoots of climbing and rambling roses – keeping the shoots as near to horizontal as possible – this restricts sap flow causing more side-shoots to grow along the length of stem and therefore, as a result, more flowers will be produced.
- Twining climbers (such as honeysuckle and Clematis) need regular tying in and twining around their supports.
- Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a balanced fertilizer (such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone). Sprinkle the fertilizer over the root area before hoeing into the soil surface. This will particularly benefit young, weak, damaged or heavily pruned plants.
- Remove any reverted green shoots on hardy variegated evergreens such as Euonymus fortunei cultivars and Elaeagnus. This will prevent the stronger growing all green shoots from taking over.
- Lightly cut back Lavender plants to prevent them getting too leggy and woody.
- Put supports in place for perennials before they get too large. Criss-crossing strings from hidden or decorative posts work well, allowing stems to grow up in the gaps between strings. Alternatively ‘pea sticks’ can be used.
- Remove faded daffodil and tulip flowers, nipping off the heads and seed pod at the same time.
- Deadhead pansies, primulas and other spring bedding plants. Pansies will carry on into the spring and even to early summer, if attended to frequently.
- Remove tired winter bedding and plants that did not survive the winter.
- Check whether containers need watering. Even at this time of year, they can dry out.
- Check that self-seeded forget-me-not plants are not smothering emerging herbaceous perennials in the borders and pull out the self seeders if necessary.
- In the vegetable garden prepare runner and climbing French bean supports if you want to save time later in the year.
- Dig in overwintering green manure crops three to four weeks before you want to use the ground, or before the plants start to become tough/begin to flower. Use a sharp spade, turning the plants back into the soil, chopping them up as you go.
- It’s time to plant potatoes – if you want to grow them. And there are many vegetable seeds that can be sown now – both in and outdoors including, towards the end of the month, those in the cucurbit family: cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkins and squashes (all to be sown indoors not directly into the ground).