Tulip 'Très Chic'

APRIL

With a bit of sunshine and warmth sowings of vegetable and flower seed can germinate and develop quickly, particularly in a greenhouse or on a window sill. Make sure you prick out seedlings before the get too leggy.

As it gets warmer, make sure that young plants have adequate moisture. Check seedlings daily – they should be shaded from strong sunlight, but can still dry out very quickly and if they wilt they may well not recover.

Frosts are still forecast, so make sure  vulnerable plants are protected.

Click on any picture or text link for more information 

Put supports for taller perennials in place now to avoid damaging plants later on. The plants can then grow through them, masking the supports.

Try criss-crossing string between canes or wire mesh.
Hazel or willow cuttings woven together can make effective & attractive supports.

Cut back the old growth of penstemon late April when it will have done its job of protecting the plant against the worst of the winter.

This will allow new growth to develop from the base and will prevent the plant becoming woody & leggy.

Some flowers self-seed profusely (e.g. forget-me-nots, foxgloves, aquilegias), often with welcome results.
However, they can easily smother other plants, so remove unwanted plants to avoid overcrowding; you may be able to use them elsewhere in the garden.

Deadhead daffodils as they go over, also
removing the seed capsule behind the flower, so that the plant’s energy goes into the bulb, rather than into seed production, unless you want them to self-seed (the wild daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus spreads primarily by seed).

Do not cut back or tie up the leaves – leave them to feed the bulbs for a good show next year; help this by applying a potash rich liquid feed, such as tomato fertiliser.

Where bulbs have been naturalised in grass, leave for 6 weeks from the end of flowering before mowing.

There’s still time to plant lilies in containers for a glorious summer display.

Now, with the soil warming up, is the time you can sow outdoors the wide variety vegetables, annuals, biennials and herbaceous perennials that can be grown from seed sown outdoors.

Old hydrangea flower heads that were left on to provide winter protection should now be removed – take care not to knock off the new buds.

Note the different ways of pruning the various types of hydrangea.

Resowing bare patches in the lawn is best done from mid-April to early May. Germination will be hampered if the soil is very wet or cold, in which case, wait until the weather improves.

If you want to create a new lawn, now is also a very good time to do it.

Aphids, may be already making an appearance. Check new shoots, particularly on roses, so that any aphids can be rubbed off before the become a significant infection.

Also, check out March & Febuary as many of those items are still relevant now

Wildlife in the garden

Planting fruit trees?
Coxes Orange Pippin apples on treeChoose varieties that will pollinate each other to give a good crop.
Click for more info & pollination compatibility checkers

Wild flower or Weed?

It's good for butterflies, so leave some on your lawn.

Garden Hedges

An important habitat for many types of wildlife

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