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Spring into action this April

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Friday, 26th March 2021, 08:00

As spring gets going, let’s hope this April has lovely weather like last year! If this is the case, remember to water recently-planted shrubs, and anything in pots or hanging baskets. Install water butts on any downpipes using a diverter kit – it’ll help save on your water bill!

This could be a good time to buy winter flowering trees and shrubs, as the prices may be reduced in garden centres – this will give you a good show next winter. It’s also a good time to plant evergreens into well-prepared soil with a balanced fertiliser added. Make sure you keep them well-watered during the summer if it is dry.

Fragrance the garden in summer evenings

Try sowing a sprinkling of hardy annual seeds like annual poppies or Love-in-a-Mist through the flower border in a sunny position. Night Scented Stocks can be sown as well to fragrance the garden in summer evenings. They are not much to look at but are delicious to smell – put them by windows or patios to enjoy.

April is a good time to plant ornamental grasses in free-draining sandy soil, but if your soil doesn’t sound like this you can add plenty of grit to clay soils to improve the drainage. Alternatively, you could erect some raised beds made from sleepers or brick, which is a good way to ensure the soil is free-draining, and is also good for tending as one gets older and ones back and knees start complaining!

Asparagus is a great long-term crop for the garden, which can produce tasty spears for 25 years! All male varieties like Dariana and Franklim give the best spears. Make sure you prepare the bed well – a raised bed is a good idea, as they like free draining soil.

Soak the ‘crowns’ (the name of the asparagus plants) before you plant them and keep the site weed-free so there is no competition. They will take a few years to reach their full potential, but persevere as they are well worth it!

Keep an eye out for nesting birds when pruning hedges

If your privet hedge needs pruning you can do it now, but make sure there are no nesting birds in it. If it needs a really hard prune do one side now and the other side next year. Feed and water it after pruning.
Thin peaches, nectarines, almonds and apricots now to make sure that only larger fruit grows – it can seem hard to do this but it is worth it!

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