Gardens across the UK are starting to look full and vibrant, with plenty of evergreens and seasonal flowers in full bloom. Although your garden may look attractive and colorful right now, you may be wondering how to make it thrive beyond April and into the hot summer months. Here are the seven things to do in your garden this month according to Harry Bodell, gardening expert at PriceYourJob.
Prune fruit trees and peonies
Pruning is essential in the spring when a new wave of flowers and fruit begin to appear in the garden.
Although pruning should be done to promote healthy growth, it is also essential to prevent and limit the spread of infection or disease.
Harry said: “Fruit trees are susceptible to fungal infections known as blossom wilt in spring, and tree peonies can also suffer from a similar problem.
“If new shoots and flowers turn brown and wilt unexpectedly, that could be the cause.”
To prevent further spread of disease, carefully prune and remove affected areas to prevent the spread of spores.
Always dispose of problematic vegetation in your bin rather than compost to control the spread of the fungus.
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Control aphid infestations
Aphids are a common problem this time of year, but they shouldn’t cause too much damage if you watch them closely.
According to Harry, most established plants can survive a temporary infestation of these “sap suckers,” but it’s important to get rid of them as soon as you see them.
He said, “If you find them on your seedlings or young plants, just pick them up.
“Attracting birds and insects such as hoverflies, ladybugs and lacewings to your garden will help control them naturally.”
Use plants to avoid weeds
Weeds start to become a problem in spring and early summer, but they can be easily avoided by changing the way you plant in your garden.
Harry recommended planting your flowers and shrubs closer together or adding a low, wide, covering plant to prevent weeds from growing in patches of bare soil.
Use a pointed hoe on larger areas to dislodge and chop the root of young weeds.
Harry added: “Covering the soil with a layer of mulch will also help prevent weeds from forming.”
Giving a boost to young cultures
Thinning and potting your vegetable plants will help them grow and prevent them from becoming stunted.
Growing the seedlings in pots rather than planting them directly in the ground should help prevent the lingering cold from killing them as well.
When you’re ready to transplant seedlings, it’s crucial that you prepare the soil properly to increase your chances of getting a ‘bumper harvest’.
Harry said: “Start by removing weeds, large stones and clods of dirt, then rake the bed finely.”
Don’t rush your grass seed
For lawn seeds to grow successfully, you will need to ensure the soil is 8°C or warmer.
While the time has come for southern regions to start sowing grass seed, gardeners in the north of the UK may have to wait a little longer.
Grass seed will only succeed if the soil is moist – not wet.
Harry said: “If the soil seems dry, use a fine watering can or watering can to moisten it slightly.
“Heavy watering can wash your seeds away.”
Clean your greenhouse
For a successful crop, clean your greenhouse well before the end of April.
Cleaning the glass will help maximize light for your seedlings to thrive; while sweeping and mopping the floor will remove algae and pests.