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Friday 1 April 2022

This Month in Your Garden - April

‘Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.’ Sigmund Freud

Weather-wise, April looks like a mixed bag, so a degree of caution is needed when planting out. The warm, sunny days of the last week of March have given way to a cooler start to the month in most parts, so beware late frosts and protect susceptible plants with cloches or horticultural fleece. Spring brings inspiration and now we can paint the garden with colour. Early sown hardy annuals can be planted out along with herbaceous perennials such as geraniums and oriental poppies. 

Or, if you haven’t already sown them, you can start hardy annuals, biennials and perennials in pots or directly in the soil. Wait until late spring, after the frosts, to sow half-hardy annuals such as French marigolds, nasturtiums and cosmos. If you live in a milder area, you can begin sowing earlier and it’s worth remembering light soils warm more quickly while if you have heavy, damp soil you need to delay sowing. 

Check the seed packets for planting months and sowing depths and don’t seed in regimented rows, be a little more random for best effect. There’s plenty more to do and enjoy in the spring garden, planting, pruning, dividing, taking basal cuttings and tying in climbers like honeysuckle and clematis. 

It’s a good time to prune hardy fuchsias, hydrangea, cornus, Buddleia, evergreen shrubs, hedges, topiary and formal hedges. Divide hostas and other perennials to give them more vigour and spread your displays. And keep hoeing those pesky weeds.

  • Plant summer flowering bulbs such as lilies in containers or pots you can move around
  • Plant autumn sown sweet peas or sow seeds directly in the soil
  • Plant alpines
  • Buy plug plants and grow them on to save money on bedding
  • Watch out for pests such as greenfly, slugs and snails and take appropriate action
  • Pot dahlia tubers
  • Feed roses with a compound fertiliser
  • Attend to your pond if you have one      

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