With many people staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, spending more time in the garden is an excellent opportunity for green-fingered individuals to escape and recuperate their mental health during self-isolation.
As spring starts to knock-in, we couldn’t find any reason why you shouldn’t go out and start off your growing season. After all, this is an exciting month where you can make the most out of the sunny days by doing these April Gardening Tips and Jobs, and get your garden going after frost.
Let the spring gardening begin!
Tip 1: Keep the Weeds Under Control
Clearing weeds may be one of the tricky tasks of gardening, but be sure that you’re not overlooking them. If left behind, especially during springtime and summer months, and may restrict the growth of your plants. They may also start to overrun your shed or other type of garden building, greatly reducing its aesthetic appeal. With that, it’s crucial to keep them under control.
How can you stop the weeds from growing? A piece of cloth made out of polypropylene or polyester or known as the weed barriers is an effective preventive to stop the spreading of weeds in your garden. Gardeners often use these barriers to keep the soil moist so their plants can grow as well.
Note: Invest to weed barriers and place them around your garden or plants — preferably in late winter or early spring.
Tip 2: Plant Perennial Herbs and Vegetables Outdoors
Many vegetables including beans, carrots, peas and beans — and perennial herbs such as chives and mint can now be grown from seeds outdoors.
The seeds can be sown as long as the soil is warm and moist, helping them to germinate quickly. This could be done either mid-spring to early summer which is April to June, or late summer in September.
But if you wish to start in early spring, it’s best to provide your crop with protection such as fleece or cloches. Regular watering is a vital tool to help grow the seedlings in the height of summer.
Vegetable growing takes off this month and here’s a list of fruits and vegetable you can grow, courtesy of RHS.
Tip 3: Protect the Fruits From the Frost
Most soft fruits like cherries and top fruits like apricots are the hardy ones that can be grown from seeds during colder months. However, once these fruits start their new growth and begin to blossom in spring, they’ll become vulnerable to frost. For them to crop well, protection is needed.
Note: if the frost is severe and can threaten the fruit trees, it’s advised to maintain the protection for two weeks after flowering. Here’s how you can protect your fruit trees from the freeze, courtesy of Canopy.
Tip 4: Feed the Lawns
At this time of the year, your lawn is actively growing and requires feeding, weeding and regular mowing. Spring is also an ideal time to fix bare spots in your lawn.
You may use a rake to remove dead grass and other debris in the area. Then feed the lawn with your choice of grass seed, e.g. perennial ryegrass. To improve seed germination, barely cover the seed with soil, tamp gently and water regularly until the seed germinates.
Tip 5: Plant Roses and Prune Climbing Roses
Bare-root and container-grown roses can now be planted in April gardens. At the same time, rose pruning is recommended to help your roses bloom vigorously and flower well each year.
Knock out is a fantastic variety of rose that can fill your garden space with colourful blooms. They’re best planted in clumps of three or more. Plus, they look great paired with perennials like Russian sage and Black-eyed Susan. When planting, make sure to pick a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
On the other hand, climbing roses can cause a tangled mess of branches and they can only grow a very few flowers if they’ve been overlooked. But pruning them can result in healthier, more manageable growth and better flowers. Here’s a guide on how to prune climbing roses this spring, courtesy of Fine Gardening.
Tip 6: Prune Spring-Flowering Bulbs
Spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips fade, starts to bloom and some clip off their flower stalks. This encourages the plants to store energy in their bulbs for the next flowering instead of setting seed.
Just make sure to leave the foliage and let it fade naturally. When it comes to giving these spring blooms a haircut, you must have a pruning guide so they can continue to provide you with bright and colourful blooms in your garden throughout the springtime.
Tip 7: Grow a Salad Garden
If you’ve been dreaming of having a salad garden of your own, spring is the perfect time of the year to make it happen! You can start planting salad crops such as arugula, beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, radishes, and Swiss chard. Most of these salad greens are quick growing and ready to harvest just 4 to 6 weeks from seeding.
Scatter the seeds in 4 to 6 inches wide bands or rows to increase yields. If you have limited space, you can start growing them in a pot, container or planter by your kitchen door. Here are some tips to growing a salad garden, courtesy of Savvy Gardening.
Tip 8: Monitor Rainfall
Most plants require moisture a week for optimum growth. Having a rain gauge installed in your garden can help you track rainfall and apply additional moisture to your plants as needed.
If you don’t have a rain gauge yet, it’s better to add one to your garden this April. Not only this will help you save money, but you’ll be able to conserve water as well.
When installing rain gauge, pick an open area that won’t get affected by tall trees or buildings. Also, make sure to clear it after every rain to get accurate measurements and prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the standing water.
Tip 9: Move Houseplants Outdoors
If you’re an indoor plant person and you own a bunch of houseplants, this April, it’s always a good idea to give your houseplants a vacation outdoors as soon as frost danger has passed.
Be sure to pick a shady spot in your garden where they are protected against strong winds. For succulents and hibiscus, place them to a brighter location. Don’t forget to feed your houseplants with a dilute solution of liquid fertiliser every time you water them outdoors. This method will help encourage them to grow and develop more quickly.