Garden jobs for April
This is one of the busiest months, although the last weeks of very cold nights and frost have delayed activities. The borders are filling out and tulips and daffodils are giving us lots of colour. There are lots of insects around already- I have been enjoying the hairy footed bees on pulmonaria, and comfrey, the male is black and the female honey coloured. I saw my first brimstone butterfly in the garden a week or so ago.
If you have forgetmenots in your borders ,remember that the plants grow really big and can swamp their neighbours so judicially cull them.
There are plants that need watering at this time of year to ensure good flowering- peonies especially would welcome a water especially as there is little rain forecast in the next few weeks.
- Sow hardy annuals such as love in the mist and marigolds and also wildflowers for your mini meadow. Sow the sunflower seeds you bought for Ukraine protect from slugs and snails when they have germinated.
- Also protect the new shoots of hostas, delphiniums, lupins and other vulnerable plants from slugs and snails
- Sow sweet peas at the base of supports, and transplant those sown in autumn.
- Prune hydrangeas, cutting back the old stems to a healthy shoot lower down
- Reinvigorate mature clumps of hardy perennials, such as hostas, asters and daylilies, by dividing and replanting
- Check for aphids on roses and other plants, either spray off with a hose or rub them off while you wait for ladybirds to do a better job.
- Plant second early and main crop potatoes.
- Sow small batches of rocket and other easy salad leaves.
- Sow flowering companions in the veg plot, such as pot marigolds and borage
- Sow herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill and chamomile in a sunny bed or container
- Sow fast-growing crops, such as radishes, to make the most of any temporary gaps
- Prick out seedlings growing in pots and trays as soon as they produce their first true leaves
- Start feeding houseplants once a week with liquid fertiliser, continuing through to autumn
- Sow quick-growing microgreens in trays or in the garden, such as kale and mustard, for nutrient-rich pickings in just a few weeks
- Sow herbs in pots or trays, including basil, chives, parsley, fennel and coriander
- Sow runner beans, French beans, cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkins and sweetcorn in pots, in the greenhouse or your window sill.
And sit in your garden- enjoy the sun, the sound of the birds and the buzzing of insects, and try to resist keeping your garden too tidy, leave that patch of grass for the wildlife to share. Those birds and insects will help you control bugs and disease in your garden so you can reduce or stop using insecticide.