Home + Garden

Your Garden This Month: APRIL

As spring is finally upon us it is time to prepare for warmer months whilst still protecting delicate blossoms from late cold spells.

TOP THREE THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH

Protect Fruit Blossom from Late Frosts 

Most potential fruit damage can be avoided by choosing a site where spring frosts are least likely, but this is seldom an option for gardeners:

  • Planting fruit in a sunny, sheltered position such as a south-facing wall – this is especially appropriate for early flowering crops such as apricots, peaches and nectarines
  • Avoid frost pockets
  • If this is not possible consider protecting them with the following methods:

Soft fruit bushes: use fleece to cover and protect the flowers and developing crop on nights when frost is forecast

Strawberries: protect with cloches or a double layer of fleece, removing or opening both in the day to allow pollinators access

Small fruit trees: cover with fleece overnight to provide frost protection and remove during the day, but this is generally impractical with larger trees

Fruit grown on walls and fences (cordon, espalier or fan-trained): cover with two or three layers of horticultural fleece, hessian or shade netting. This should be rolled up during the day. Use canes to keep the material off the blossoms. Remove the covers as soon as the danger is over

Keep grass around trees mown short in flowering season, as long grass prevents heat being radiated from the soil

Apply mulches after flowering – bare soil radiates useful amounts of heat, protecting the blossom

 

Sow New Lawns or Repair Bare Patches 

Lawns are best repaired in spring or autumn, when the weather is damp and cool, as the lawn is most likely to recover well in these conditions.

Using turf

Cut out the damaged area of turf in a square, using a half moon edging iron to cut the square and a spade to lift it.

Lightly fork over the soil in the base of the removed square.

Cut out an identical-sized square of healthy turf from another area of the garden where it will not be missed, or use new turf if you have it.

Place the healthy turf over the damaged patch and brush a sandy lawn top-dressing into the crevices between the turves.

Compress the turf edges with the back of a rake.

Water in with a watering can fitted with a fine rose.

 

Using seed

Cut out the damaged area of turf in a square, using a half moon edging iron to cut the square and a spade to lift it.

Lightly fork over the soil in the base of the removed square.

Sprinkle some crumbly top soil or compost over the base of the removed square.

Scatter the grass seed over the base at a rate of 15-25g per sq m (½–¾oz per sq yard) if no sowing rate is given on the packet or by the supplier.

Cover the seed with a light sprinkling of top soil or compost to hide it from the birds.

Water in with a watering can fitted with a fine rose.

Better results may be achieved by pre-germinating the seed before sowing it. Add the seed to some moist compost in a bucket and cover with clingfilm. Place somewhere warm – no higher than 15°C (60°F). After three days, check the seed for signs of germination. If none is seen, check daily thereafter. Once you see small white roots developing, sow the mixture as above.

Start To Feed Citrus Plants 

Citrus require feeding throughout the year. From late March to late October, use a summer feed high in nitrogen. Use a more balanced winter feed from late October to late March. These are available from nurseries and garden centres, including fertilisers specifically formulated for citrus.

 

Other Jobs This Month

  • Keep weeds under control
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses 
  • Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors 
  • Increase the water given to houseplants 
  • Feed hungry shrubs and roses 
  • Prune fig trees 
  • Divide bamboos and waterlilies

 

Previous post

Listed Kent – Renovating A Listed Building

Next post

Battle of Britain Memorial July commemoration to move online

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *