April is a busy and beautiful month in the garden. The garden abounds in colour produced by the changing foliage of deciduous trees, berry-laden bushes and flowering flushes of indigenous shrubs. Now is the time to sow, plant, feed and prepare your garden for winter and spring!
Here are a few tasks to take care of this month:
- Plant up smaller beds, containers and hanging baskets with petunias, poppies, pansies, alyssum and dianthus for instant colour.
- For a riot of spring colour, sow these annuals into well-prepared garden beds, after the first rains:
- Prepare beds for planting winter and spring flowering bulbs - work in loads of compost to aid drainage, scatter a handful of organic general purpose fertiliser per square metre, and add a generous dressing of bone meal.
- Have you purchased spring flowering bulbs yet? Store them in a cool dry place and only plant when temperatures drop significantly.
Tip: Include indigenous bulbs like Babiana, Freesias, Gladioli, Ixias, Lachenalias, Ornithogalum, Tritonias and Sparaxis.
Try this! - Plant bulbs in containers for a beautiful winter and spring display:
- Sow or plant seedlings of these veggies for a bountiful winter harvest: Asian greens (mizuna, red giant mustard, pak choi and tatsoi); Brassica crops (broccoli, cauliflower, green cauliflower, cabbage and mixed kale); Root crops (turnips, carrots, beetroots and radish); and sow seeds of beans and peas.
- Give growing garlic a go! Select a sunny area in your garden, with well-draining soil, and plant cloves 12 cm apart and 7 cm deep. Cover with a thin layer of soil, just enough to cover the clove nose, and water regularly.
- Plant cool-season herbs like chives, garlic chives, coriander and rocket.
- Feed your citrus trees with a general fertiliser and a handful of Epsom salts per tree.
- Prune evergreen hedges that have finished flowering in summer.
- It is the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs and roses as the roots still have time to settle in and establish before the winter cold arrives.
- Re-use those autumn leaves by either adding them to your compost heap or using them as mulch in your beds. Additional mulching will also help to keep the warm temperature of the soil.
- Lift and divide overcrowded evergreen Agapanthus, daylilies and summer flowering red hot pokers.
- Take hardwood cuttings.
- Continue to spray your roses against mildew and black spot.
- Keep an eye out for aphids and leaf miners.
- These guys love Brassica crops so keep a close eye on the veggie garden.
- Lawn caterpillars are active at night and create bald patches in the lawn.