April – Preparing for the spring growth surge - Landscape Gardening Design, Preston, Lancashire

Gardening in the UK during April involves preparing for the spring growth surge. This month is often a busy time for gardeners, as the weather starts to warm up, and the risk of frost begins to decrease. Here are some tips to get your garden spring-ready in April:

 

General Garden Maintenance

  1. Tidy Up: Clean up any remaining leaves and debris from winter. Remove dead foliage from perennials and ornamental grasses to make room for new growth.
  2. Weed Control: Begin weeding as early as possible to prevent weeds from taking over and competing with your plants for nutrients and water.
  3. Pest and Disease Watch: Keep an eye out for signs of pests and diseases. Early prevention can save a lot of trouble later in the season.

 

Soil and Compost

  1. Prepare Soil: Turn over and enrich your garden beds with compost or well-rotted manure to prepare for planting. This will improve soil structure and fertility.
  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around your plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

 

Planting and Sowing

  1. Hardy Annuals: Sow hardy annual seeds directly into the ground where they are to flower.
  2. Tender Plants: Start tender plants and summer-flowering bulbs indoors or in a greenhouse to give them a head start before transplanting them outside after the last frost.
  3. Vegetables: Direct sow hardy vegetables such as carrots, beets, and lettuce. Plant potatoes and onion sets.
  4. Frost-sensitive Plants: Be prepared to protect tender plants with fleece if a late frost is forecasted.
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Lawn Care

  1. Mowing: Start mowing the lawn regularly as it begins to grow. Set the mower to a higher setting for the first few cuts to avoid stressing the grass.
  2. Aeration and Scarification: If not done in autumn, consider aerating compacted areas to improve drainage and scarify to remove thatch.

 

Pruning

  1. Spring-flowering Shrubs: Prune spring-flowering shrubs like forsythia and flowering currants after they have bloomed to shape them and encourage new growth for next year’s flowers.
  2. Frost-damaged Plants: Prune any frost-damaged parts from plants to encourage new growth.

 

Supporting Wildlife

  1. Birds: Keep feeding the birds, as food can still be scarce in early spring. Also, clean out bird boxes or put new ones up to provide nesting sites.
  2. Insects: Consider planting a range of flowering plants to support beneficial insects. Leave some areas of the garden a little wild to offer habitats for various creatures.

 

Watering

  1. Conservation: Start collecting rainwater in butts if you haven’t already. It’s better for watering plants than tap water, especially for those that dislike lime.

 

Greenhouse

  1. Ventilation: On warm days, ventilate your greenhouse to prevent overheating and to harden off young plants.
  2. Cleaning: If you haven’t done so already, give the greenhouse a thorough clean to maximize light entry and reduce pest and disease risks.

By following these April garden tips, you’ll set a solid foundation for a thriving and beautiful garden throughout the spring and summer months.

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