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April gardening tips for the longer evenings!

I’m not sure if this is an age thing but as I have got older the winter months and dark nights seem to hang around a lot longer than ever before. And as much as I love my gorgeous shutters it’s nice to pull them back and enjoy the sunshine!

Now the clocks have changed (https://www.gov.uk/when-do-the-clocks-change) we can now enjoy longer, warmer evenings which means it won’t be long before I can be seen sipping a glass of wine in my garden, viewing the fruits of my spring-time labours and enjoying my home grown vegetables. But before this luxury can happen I have to put my back into some hard work and get my garden ready!

Here are a few things to start you off as your garden starts to wake up for the summer.

Greenhouse Maintenance

If you haven’t already removed all the old debris from last years’ plants in your greenhouse now’s the time to have a clear out. Remove all of the old plants and scrub the panels to get rid of any diseases and bacteria. Cleaning the windows will also help let the light in to give you healthier plants. Plant your tomato seeds indoors unless of course you have a heated greenhouse!

Fruit Garden

If you have strawberry beds, prepare the beds with well-rotted manure and bed your plants in. Cover with cloches to protect them from frost and encourage early fruiting. If your fruit plants are in blossom protect them with fleece on cold nights when there could be a frost. Apply a slow release fertiliser around the base of raspberry canes, fruit trees and bushes to encourage good crop growth this year. For more advice about the types of cloche you can buy visit: https://www.growsonyou.com/retailer/GB/guide/garden-cloche-guide

Vegetable Patch

Dig in a layer of compost to your vegetable beds and remove any weeds. You can also cover the ground with plastic to help keep it weed free and warm the ground up in preparation for seeds and seedlings. You can also start planting out your chitted potatoes or put them into grow bags. Have a look at your seed packets or visit your local garden centre for advice on which crops can be planted out in April.

Blooming Flower Beds

General purpose fertiliser and compost can now be dug into your beds in time for the growing season. If you have hostas in your garden divide them now before they come into leaf and also divide primroses after they have finished flowering.  Check all your climbing plants to make sure they have adequate support for their next growth phase and prune your forsythia. If you have excess garden waste you can contact your local council for collection.

Good luck with your garden this spring and I hope it’s full of colour and tempting treats throughout the coming summer months!

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