More Jobs to Keep Your April Garden Looking Good
If your borders have ‘bare patches’, now is a good time to sow hardy annuals outdoors. Good example are sunflowers, calendula, poppy, love-in-a-mist, larkspur, poached egg flowers, lavatera, alyssum, cornflower, night scented stock, and climbers like nasturtium and scented sweet pea. There are lots to choose from and it’s a simple job of sowing them straight into the ground. Make sure the soil is well prepared and weed free and sprinkle them where you wish. The only thing you need to do is make sure that they are well-watered and kept weed free. If you’re not sure which are weeds, a good rule of thumb is the weeds are usually the seedlings that are growing quickest!
Set aside a day to go over the borders; doing those small jobs makes all the difference to the garden’s appearance. Lightly fork over the soil, pulling out any weeds. It’s best to do it this time of the year before they get too big and established.
Getting the garden ready for summer should include giving attention to the patio. Regular sweeping is key to keeping the patio looking tidy. Dirt and slime can build up on a patio over time. Weeds growing between the stones can be removed with a knife, or use a specialist weed killing product to stop them coming back. Using a high-pressure washer is the easiest way of spring-cleaning the patio. If you don’t want to invest in a pressure washer, try a proprietary stone-cleaning product. Alternatively, the most economical, and environmentally friendly, method of cleaning slabs is to use a solution of detergent, warm water and some thorough scrubbing.
If you didn’t give your plants an organic feed last month, a chemical fertiliser will give them an instant boost, now just when they need it. All plants need nutrients to survive, but there’s no need to feed absolutely everything every year. Trees and shrubs, for example, will grow quite happily for years, provided the ground is prepared properly when planting. With all these, all that is necessary is to apply some fertiliser in the first two or three years after planting. After that, unless there is some obvious deficiency, they’ll cope well on their own.
The areas of the garden that most need fertilisers every year are the vegetable, fruit patch, annual borders and plants in containers. There are many varieties available in garden centres. Choose a slow release fertiliser and sprinkle over your borders. The rain should take it down into the roots of the plants.