With cherry and Amelanchier blossom now joining the magnificent Magnolias, gardens everywhere are looking fantastic.
Underneath this beautiful bloom, borders are filled with primroses, polyanthus, wallflower and more.
If you want some more help on what to do in your garden this month, I'll be doing a live webinar on Tuesday the 7th of April! I'll be talking through my tips, and answering live Q and A's. Sign up here.
Bulbs and borders
- The early ones might be going over, but there's plenty of colour from tulips yet to come! Make a note of which late flowering bulbs you see in other people's gardens so that you can plant varieties that will extend your own display next spring.
- Remove dead flower heads from daffodils. This stops them from wasting energy on setting seed. Feed them with a tomato liquid feed to build up strength for next year. Don’t be in a hurry to cut the leaves off as this weakens them and reduces future flower performance. Finally, remember that bulbs need 12 weeks after flowering to “fatten up” for next year!
- Lift, divide and replant clumps of overcrowded snowdrops and daffodils. Try to avoid damaging the roots as much as you can and replant immediately.
- Get supports in for taller growing perennials to grow through. If you do it early enough, then you soon won’t see the supports.
- If you have moles spoiling your lawn, then trapping is the best way to get rid of them. There are contractors who will carry this out for you in most areas, but if you would rather not harm them, then sonic deterrents will drive them away.
- If you have areas that are heavily used, then you should aerate and brush coarse sand or fine grit into the holes to improve the drainage.
- You can do it at any time of the year but now is the best time to even out bumps and hollows in your lawn. Use a roller (hire or borrow if you don't own one) to even out the bumps and fill the hollows with turf dressing compost. You can add a little fresh grass seed to this.
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- You may be tempted to plant summer bedding plants out, but it's risky to do it so early. In cities with residual heat, you might get away with it.
Ponds and wildlife
- Make sure your pond has suitable ‘steps’ for animals to get in and out easily. This could only be a log lying half in and half out. You never know, but this could save the life of a hedgehog.
- It’s not too late to hang up bird nest boxes. Situate them so that they are shaded from the midday sun and at a height that is out of easy reach of cats. A variety of types will attract a variety of birds!
- It's especially important to continue feeding birds in spring. Parents will be hard-pressed to feed themselves and their young at this time of year.
Home grown food
- Plant containers up with some herbs. Plant mint on its own and not with other herbs, as it will take over given a chance! Coriander, parsley, thyme, chives and tarragon are the most popular and look very decorative too! Keep them by the backdoor (but in full sun) for easy access.
- Blackcurrants, blackberries and other hybrid berries are hungry feeders. A top-dressing of fast-acting sulphate of ammonia will work wonders if applied now. You should have applied the other major nutrients in winter.
- Sow carrots, beetroot and parsnips outside. Parsnips are slow to germinate and grow, so I always sow fast-maturing radish in the same drill and harvest them before they crowd the parsnips out.
- As apples and pears are in blossom now, do not spray them with any pesticides. Bees will be visiting the flowers to pollinate them.