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 Jobs to do in the April Garden

April is a busy month with much to do. Be warned, there will still be frosts around, so do not put  tender plants out yet.

Lawns should now be growing quite strongly. (Warmer weather - April Showers)  Mow when necessary - with the blades set high. Don't forget, that if you only get a chance to mow the lawn at the weekend, and you give it a miss for one week, it will have a further week's growth by the following weekend. More important, if it rains then and you can't cut it, it will be weeks before you manage to get it under control and looking good. 

Spring should have finally arrived!

Sow new lawns or lay turf on ground prepared last month. Established lawns will need attention after all the rain - and of course April can also be a wet month - in which case keep off the lawn unless necessary. Aerate, apply a lawn sand or a selective weed killer and fertiliser and scarify about two weeks later to remove patches of dead moss. Where necessary over-seed. (If you have been troubled by worm casts the use of lawn sand each year will help to reduce them.)

Cut back all heathers that have finished flowering. Dead-head spring flowering bulbs when they have finished flowering, but do not cut down the leaves.

Forsythia flowers Prune forsythia after flowering. Prune Ribes - Flowering Currants - after flowering. Both can be cut back as hard as you like, as long as you do it right AFTER flowering. This then gives them enough time to produce new flowering wood ready for next year.

Continue planting gladiolus corms throughout April to get them off to a good start. Continue sowing hardy annual seeds in beds and borders. Plant alpines in rock garden. Plant out dahlia tubers towards the end of the month.

Transplant rhododendrons, azaleas and other evergreens that need moving. April is the best month for moving evergreens. Shelter them against drying winds after planting.  

If you haven't already done so, then cut back Buddlejahs (Buddleias) and Dogwoods (Cornus). April is the latest you should be doing this, but if you miss out, then May is still ok. The former to ensure arching sprays of larger flowers, and the latter, to give masses of colour next winter. (You really have to think that far ahead in this game.)

Buddleja davidii Highland Blue or Lochinch       Red stems of Cornus sibirica alba
Buddleja Highland Blue                                         Cornus sibirica
Links at bottom of page on how to do it!

Spray gooseberries with a fungicide against mildew. Continue to sow vegetables.  
Plant main crop potatoes now and 'earlies' if not done last month. Continue to plant onion sets, shallots and garlic. Erect supports for runner beans in readiness for sowing - or planting out.

In the greenhouse, the month of April is the time to sow marrows, courgettes and sweetcorn for planting out later. Towards the end of April - if mild - plant tomatoes in unheated greenhouses.

Keep on top of whitefly before they multiply.  Spray regularly for 3 weeks at 10 day intervals, to break their natural reproductive cycle. (If they become troublesome, you can always 'suck them up' with a portable 'car vac'. It works! - GS Editor)

Once you have done all the work required in April, then the garden work should be easier in May

Flowering Plants for April
Pruning Guide for Forsythia
Pruning Guide for Buddleja
Pruning Guide for Cornus


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