13 December 2017

April in your garden

BRIGHTER DAYS, REFRESHING GREEN PATCHES OF GRASS AND AN EVER-PRESENT AROMA FROM FLOWERS AND TREES – THIS IS APRIL! GOD BLESSES US IN SO MANY WAYS AND HE SAID TO US “GIVE, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU: GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER WILL BE PUT INTO YOUR BOSOM. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YOU USE, IT WILL BE MEASURED BACK TO YOU.” LUKE 6:38

AS LUKE SAID, WE WILL BE MEASURED BACK ACCORDING TO THE MEASURE THAT WE USE. THE GARDEN, TOO, WILL SURELY GIVE BACK TO US ACCORDING TO THE WORK AND CARE WE PUT INTO IT. APRIL IS THE PERFECT MONTH TO START.

Where to start?

The lawn:

 after winter the lawn may be sodden, therefore it is a great time for aerating. This will not only help penetration of the water into deeper layers of the ground but will also disturb the moss, and support the growth of grass.

 if moss is growing in the lawn, use a leaf rake and fertiliser with a moss-killer formula. Fertiliser visibly improves the quality of the lawn.

 fix the lawn and its borders by redefining the edges, filling patchy areas and over-seeding the lawn. Sow seeds on missing parts and cover them with thin layers of fine soil and gently press the surface. This will keep the seeds moist, in place and protect them from animals.

The shrubs and trees:

 remove all dead, infected and unwanted parts. Do not prune back into the bare wood of the plant as that will make the plant more vulnerable.

 prune the following; most of the shrubs and evergreens; acacia, magnolia grandiflora and foxglove tree; climbers like chilean glory flower, ivy, passion flower, and potato vine; and forsythia when it has finished blooming.

 remove the mulch from the roses and other ornamental plants.

 repot the container shrubs with fresh compost and trim the roots.

Fruits and vegetables:

 start sowing in heat (greenhouse or windowsill) crops like celery, cucumbers, aubergine and tomatoes.

 end of April, sow outdoors under cloche the french beans, lettuce and sweetcorn.

 plant perennial vegetables (asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish etc.) and peas, beets, spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, leeks, spinach, cauliflower and cabbage.

 sow and plant root crops (parsley, potatoes, beetroot, radishes, parsnips, carrots, shallots and onions).

 prepare the raspberry patch, cut out the dead canes and leave five canes per foot. Remember that only the canes with swollen buds along the edges will bear fruit this year.

 weed and water fruit and vegetable patches regularly.

Flowers:

 plant the summer flowering bulbs (dahlias, gladiolas, lilies and varieties of mixed bulbs).

 sow annuals like asters, cosmos, marigolds, zinnias in the garden.

 sow perennials like hollyhock, lupin, penstemon, red-hot poker, and at the end of the month you can sow anchusa, blanket flower, blazing star, columbine, fleabane, geum, globe thistle, granny’s bonnet, purple mullein, sea-holly, and shasta daisy.

 move stored fuchsias and geraniums outdoors when the danger of frost has passed. Trim them, fertilise, water and if needed re-pot.

 deadhead your spring flowering bulbs after blooming. Do not cut off the green leaves. They provide the bulb with nourishment for flowering next year.

 divide campanulas, daylilies, delphiniums, iris, chrysanthemums, daisies, and phlox.

 plant new rosebushes before growth starts and buds swell.

 start planting your hanging baskets using plants like begonia, dichondra, lobelia, petunia or sweet pea.

Special tips and tricks:

 cut banana peels into small pieces and bury in the soil for healthier growth of roses.

 plant French marigolds and tomatoes together; marigolds ward off greenflies and blackflies with a strong aroma.

 plant leeks and carrots together; leeks repel carrot flies and carrots repel onion flies and leek moths.

 chervil repels aphids from lettuce.

Enjoy the beauty of your garden!

Zuzana Polackova