Plants are putting on a spurt of growth now, and some will need support. At last, we can plant up more pots with colour, and there's plenty of exciting under-cover planting to do!
Border plant care in April
- Check hellebores and lupins for greenfly now. Both attract very large greenfly which should be controlled to prevent the spread of viruses and distortion of growth.
Here are some alternatives to traditional pesticides:
Here are some of my favourite varieties:
- Use ericaceous compost (which has a low pH) to mulch winter-flowering heathers when they finish flowering. Trim the tops of flowering shoots off to keep the plants compact.
- If your garden is in the southern half of the UK, you can plant dahlia tubers straight into your borders. If you live further north or at a high elevation, it will pay you to wait a couple of weeks. Soak the roots in water for 10 to 12 hours before planting, and remember to be ready with slug and snail controls as soon as the first shoots emerge.
Cosy up in the garden this Summer with comfortable and luxurious furniture and garden lighting.
Ferncrest-TradingTree of Life Wall Art Ornament for Garden Or Home Decoration 54cm
MHStarOutsunny Double Rattan Daybed - Brown
MHStarHOMCOM Rechargeable Outdoor LED Ball - Ф35 x H34cm - 16 RGB Colours
TheSolarCentreTrueFlame USB Solar Torch Light With Flickering Flame
MHStarHOMCOM 12KW Free Standing Rattan Outdoor Heater - Brown
Plants Shoots and LeavesVerbena hastata 'Rosea' - 9cm Pot
Pots and containers
- It's time to plant up pots and containers; this will brighten up dull corners of the garden, patio and balcony. Potted bulbs, Senetii, violas and pansies look great and give an instant colour fix!
- If your garden is sheltered, you could use summer bedding plants but watch out for late frosts.
- Plant up hanging baskets for summer but keep them inside with some protection until they are established. Two to three weeks in a greenhouse, conservatory, glazed porch or polytunnel will make all the difference!
- If you have very little space, you can still have a pretty planted container! Fill a sink with drought-tolerant Sedum or trendy succulent plants.
- Plant up window boxes with plants that can be seen from inside and outside too. Pelargonium maybe the obvious choice, but that's because they perform well!
Home Grown Food
- Plant tomato plants under protection. (It's too early for outside until at least late May). You should get away with no heat at this stage but have a heater ready if hard frost is forecast.
- Plant cucumbers. These do need heat. Grow the all-female varieties as these don't need the removal of male flowers to make the female fruits taste bitter. I find that the mini cucumber varieties are excellent and very prolific.
- Make the first outdoor sowing of French beans. I recommend ‘Safari’, but there are lots of other good ones. This sort of bean is best sown every two to three weeks so that you get succession. Climbing 'Blue Lake', 'Cobra' and 'Hunter' are suitable climbing varieties too.
- Sow runner beans in pots or ‘Rootrainers’ inside. Grow a large yielding stringless variety such as ‘Butler, or ‘Moonlight'. For a substantial yield without sacrificing produce, 'St George' is semi stringless and has done very well for me. 'St George' is also a variety that looks good enough to plant in a flower border as it has red and white blooms.
Have a fantastic week growing!
To get growing, explore our collection of things to plant this month:
Your April Growing Guide
My Wish TreePeony Tree (Paeoniaceae)
My Wish TreeAcer palmatum 'Emerald Lace', (Japanese Maple Tree)
thejsheppardSweet Pea Collection Scented Sweet Peas 5 packets of seeds
AgralanBirchmeier Aquamix 1.25 Liquid Fertiliser Applicator
Tynings ClimbersClematis Armandii (group 1)
AgralanAgralan Plug Plant Trainer