April in the Garden
We are now well into spring and with this in mind we’ve put together an April to-do-list you can be doing to help you thrive this growing season.
Plant for colour
Plants such as sweet peas or dahlias are ideal for planting at this time of year. If you have sweet peas sown from late last year, or early this year, you can reap the rewards by planting them this month.
Sweet Peas are relatively hardy and are surprisingly resilient to spring frosts. If you plant now you will be picking their sweet smelling, colourful flowers by the summer.
Another colourful plant that is not quite as hardy as the sweet pea is the dahlia. Dahlias come in many different varieties and colours. Find out how to plant both sweet peas and dahlias in our blog: Easy Summer Colour.
Plant a lavender hedge
A lavender hedge can also be ideal for planting in April as the soil is beginning to warm up, as opposed to planting in Winter where a young plant is likely to rot in cold, wet soils.
Lavender thrives in the sunlight and requires fast-draining soil. It is a Mediterranean plant and can be vulnerable in dark, cold, damp conditions.
A lavender hedge should be planted immediately after plants are bought. Space your plants roughly 15 inches away from one another.
Once you have planted your lavender ensure to water regularly, especially when planting in April with the weather beginning to warm up. After becoming well establlished, lavender should not need to be watered as often as it is relatively drought-tolerant.
If you find you lack enough space in your garden to grow your own fruit and veg, a great project to try out in April is to grow strawberries in a rain gutter. Here’s how:
- Take a piece of gutter or half of a drainpipe and cut it about 4 ½ feet in length
- Make a mark for planting every 9 inches along the gutter
- Find a material to clog the pipe from both sides
- Make some holes at the bottom of the gutter for drainage
- Fill with some general all-purpose compost
- Plant your strawberries at the top
The advantage to using this method is that when your strawberries develop they won’t be sitting on the ground. When strawberries aren’t sitting in the soil, they are less likely to rot.
We would also advise covering your strawberries with a protective netting to shield them from birds or other pests.
Tie climbing plants
If you have planted climbing plants such as climbing roses, clematis or honeysuckle these will need to be maintained in April.
You should have your climbers supported with horizontal wires. Space your eye screws about 2m apart and run wire through them.
The wire can be tightened using a set of pliers to turn the end of the eye screws. Tie the stems of your plant to the wire. This way, the plant’s growth is supported if it struggles to grow by itself.
We’re here to help
If you have any questions about what to do in your garden in April get in touch on Facebook (CountryLife Gardening), Instagram or Twitter (@countrylifegc). If you have a specific problem like pest damage on a plant, it’s really helpful to show us a photo of it. We’d love to help.