Could there be a better month in the year than April ? It is simply great gardening weather and the plants love it too. There may be some rowdy weather, but there will also be crisp blue sky days and calm, still mornings. There are plenty of things to do, so I’m gonna put on the Bogs boots and get out amongst it.
It is a good time to sweeten up the soil in your garden with some lime. Sometimes soil can become rather acidic after continual feeding and cropping. Calcium from lime helps improve this. We recommend dolomite lime with the added magnesium for sandy soils. But for a real impact on the soil, also add some Rock Dust. This is a natural mineral fertiliser made of crushed rock that will re-balance your soil and make nutrients much more available to plants. You can use it on your entire garden, but do avoid adding lime to camellias, natives and acid loving plants like azaleas and rhododendrons.
If you haven’t grown broad beans before, it’s a great activity to do with the kids. This is because they sprout from seed quickly and grow quite tall over a short period of time. Children can really see a difference week by week. They are also much more likely to eat them once they have helped you grow them. Provided you can cook! Now is the time to get these in and get your kids active.
Don’t be afraid to cut back perennials hard. This may include daisies, salvia, penstemon and most others that have finished flowering. Also think about cutting the hydrangea back. Completely cut out any woody old stems. The remaining stems should be cut back by a third, down to a nice green bud. Oakleaf hydrangea (quercifolia) are still looking beautiful and are best left till a bit later.
Pansies and violas are some of my favourite flowering annuals. Planted now, the newer hybrid varieties will flower until Christmas. That’s great value. Pinch off any early flowers and feed with a soluble plant food high in nitrogen so as to get good leaf growth. Watch out for snails during wet weather.
I am becoming interested in Raspberries and have decided to cut the late fruiting varieties down to the ground. I am hoping for big bushy plants and lots of fruit for this time next year. Pretty soon I will cut back my blueberries, taking out weak wood and reducing the main branches a bit. There is a lot to learn about berries and I fill like a caveman every time I get to nibble off them. Especially when I am unable to catch those wild boar!
Another plant I am enjoying is a light brown coffee coloured Heuchera. You grow them for foliage, not flowers. This mounding plant likes a shadier position so I have tried three in the outside area of the Gardenworld Café. Check them out next time you drop in.
Bulbs To Plant: Anenome, Daffodil, Freesia, Iris, Jonquils, Tulip, Ranunculus and Hyacinth
Flowers To Plant: Primula, Pansy, Foxglove, Delphinium, Cineraria, Hollyhock, Poppy.
Vegetables To Plant: Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, Coriander, Garlic, Lettuce, Leek, Parsnip, Onions, Radish, Turnip.