Your Garden in April.
Spring has sprung at last, April is a wonderful time with warmer temperatures and periods of Spring sunshine ( & perhaps the odd shower!).
The garden surges into growth and there is much to do to ensure your garden is beautiful and productive in the months ahead. It's a key time to focus on your Sow & Grow plans, there are blooms to sow both for garden blooms and Grow Your Own. Successional growing is key for your Grow Your Own plans, sowing smaller batches of seed every two weeks or so will lead to a plentiful constant supply of produce.
April offers the ideal conditions to look at your lawn and ensure it's got all the care it needs to be a lovely lawn in the summer months, in dryer weather do its first cut, focus on feeding it and dealing with any moss that may be present.
The warmer temperatures spur on all our seedlings and young plants on but this also applies to the weeds so keep on top of these now so they do not become established. Planting up containers is a great way to grow flowers and vegetables if you are limited space. Make sure newly planted or permanent containers are watered regularly and fed if required.
Above all continue enjoying your garden this month, the birds are singing and there is the promise of so much yet to come.
Grow Your Own - Marrows, Pumpkin, Courgette & Squash
For early crops it’s a good time to sow Marrows, Pumpkin, Courgette & Squash indoors. These are versatile vegetables that are easy to grow. There are some great varieties to choose from, we love 'Long Green Bush' Marrow's, Butternut Squash, 'All Green Bush' Courgette and 'Big Max' pumpkin will delight the kids!
Sow & Grow - Perennials
Sowing perennials now means a great show of colour ahead. We love delphiniums, Echinacea's, Hollyhocks & Calendula. Using a seed tray spread a layer of compost, space the seeds an inch apart, cover with a thin later of compost and lightly water. Pop the tray in a light, warm position in your greenhouse or on a windowsill and wait for seedlings to appear!
Grow Your Own - Plant Second Earlies & Maincrop Potato's
Chit and plant out second earlies and maincrop potato's later in the month to ensure you have a great supply of spuds throughout the season. Plant in narrow trenches about 12cm deep in veg plot, spaced 30cm apart or if space is limited plant in containers. See our full blog on potato growing here.
In dryer weather do the first lawn cut, making sure your mower blades are set high. Now is a great time to feed your lawn and also treat any moss that is present. If you are sowing grass seed to create a new lawn or deal with patches in your existing lawn be sure to ensure it's watered well. Focusing on what your lawn needs now will ensure you have a great lawn in the Summer.
The joy of Dahlias.
They offer such a profusion of colour in pots and borders, flowering from mid-summer all the way through to Autumn and this month is a great time to plant your Dahlias. Fill a large pot with good quality multi-purpose compost, make sure the growing points or 'eyes' are facing up, cover with compost and water well. If planting in a border, improve your soil by digging in well-rotted manure, tubers should be planted 60cm apart and 10-15 cm deep. There is such a range to choose from, in all shapes, sizes and colours, we love 'Burlesca', 'Café Au Lait', 'Fancy Pants, 'Pink Magic and 'HS Wink'.
It’s a great time to get going with growing salad leaves and this cut-and-come-again crop is so easy to grow! Sowing outdoors from late April to late Summer, sow in rows 1cm deep, cover with compost and water. Sow every two weeks or so to ensure a good ongoing supply of salad leaves. Thin out seedlings to give plants the space to develop, continue to water and keep pests at bay. There is so much more than just plain old lettuce too! Try mizuna, chicory, endive, sorrel, rocket, mustard and rainbow chard.
There is such simple pleasure in watching a sunflower grow up, up, up and children love to join in the fun. If you are looking to grow a giant now is the time to get sowing so the plants have the longest growing season. Sow sunflower seeds this month inside ready to harden off in late May before planting out. For tall plants, we recommend 'Giant Single'.
Now is a good time to prune your lavender to promote its growth and keep it in a good shape. If left, lavender plants become woody and produce fewer fragrant leaves and flowers, but note that pruning should only be done annually from the second year of growth. Prune using good quality clean pruning shears, aim to prune no more than one-third of the plant and remove any unwanted stems. It's a great idea to feed your lavender weekly with a good quality liquid feed too.
SQUASH (Butternut) Hercules F1 is a vigorously growing plant with big, sweet, tasty fruits and a small seed cavity so lots of flesh to eat. Each fruit can weigh up to 3lb and stores well.
Hollyhock Chaters Double Mixed seeds from Fothergills produce tall, impressive & elegant flowers. These Paeony-like double pompon blooms arrayed along tall, elegant spires come in a lovely range of colours.
Dahlia Pompon and Ball Mixed varieties from Taylors Bulbs, are a mixed colour selection, which flower all summer long. A pompon and ball dahlia mix that are ideal for cut flowers.