It's official! Spring has sprung and April is the month when you really begin to see the results of your work in the garden over the winter. With a whole range of tasks to be getting on with from sowing seed indoors to potting up, planting out or mowing the lawn you can make the most of every bit of sunshine and still say busy undercover in the rain. The garden is alive with activity and the blousy blossom reminds us of the bounty to come. Happy Gardening!
Prune early flowering shrubs such as forsythia, currant and winter jasmine as soon as the flowers have faded.
Put in place structures for climbers like sweetpeas and clematis – an obelisk is ideal. Pinch out the growing tips once a few leaves have formed and loosely tie in until established.
Deadhead spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths and tulips as they fade to conserve energy for next year rather than producing seed.
Climbers such as the cup-and-saucer vine, black-eyed Susan, morning glories and Rhodochiton will bring a tropical feel to your garden if planted against an arbour flowering from July to October. Sow under cover now and plant out at the end of next month when the risk of frost has passed.
With herbaceous perennials seemingly growing by the day get supports in place now - foliage will quickly disguise them as it grows.
Put border edging in place to stop plants spilling out over lawns and pathways.
April is a good time to transplant seedlings growing in the wrong place. Lift and move the likes of alchemilla, hellebores, grasses, evening primrose, verbena bonariensis and immature foxgloves. Keep well watered until firmly established.
Sow small rows of beetroot, radish, carrots, salad leaves, spinach, rocket and spring onions every few weeks to stagger harvests.
Put up Pea and Bean Supports in readiness for sowing climbing beans.
Soft fruit is best netted early in the season to stop small birds pecking at fruit buds, and then to stop them stripping fruit later on. A fruit cage is a great investment to protect your crops.
Mow the lawn little and often. Spring rains and spells of warm sunshine sees the grass growing strongly. Keep blades on the high side still, up the frequency of your mowing compost clippings.
Ventilate greenhouses, coldframes and cloches- open up doors, roofs and vents on warm days to help combat diseases such as grey mould and mildew.