GARDEN TIPS FOR EARLY APRIL
  • Spring clean with the range of ‘Hero’ outdoor cleaning products. Easy to use with very little work.
  • Sprinkle sulphate of potash fertiliser around clumps of tulips to boost flowering
  • Secure emerging clematis shoots to supports, taking care not to snap their fragile stems and apply slug pellets
  • Plant out onion sets and shallots
  • Continue to use ‘Osmo Moss killer’ on your lawn after applying a PH stabilizer
  • Start to regularly spray roses that are vulnerable to disease, I always alternate between different sprays so they don’t have a chance to build up a resistance against it.
  • Start sowing salad crops at regular 3-4 week intervals to ensure a regular supply for picking
  • Tidy up hedges, but before you start cutting make sure no birds are nesting in them
  • Throw sheets of fleece over fruit trees on frosty nights to protect blossom
  • Plant up pots with spring colour and scents

Spring is here and the plants and trees are all looking hungry after the long winter. Feeding is the key to getting the best displays and crops from your garden. A number of chemical elements are essential for plant growth. Three are required in relatively large amounts, nitrogen for leaf growth, phosphorus for root development and potash for strengthening resistance to disease.  A general purpose fertilizer will have all these elements in the right amounts. Never apply fertilizer too close to the stem of your trees and shrubs as you can cause detrimental scorching.  A small handful of fertilizer sprinkled around the plant 30-40 cms (12-14”) out from the stem, little and often is better than one big feed.  Manure or fertilizer - the age old argument.  Actually, there is nothing to argue about, both are vital and neither can be properly replaced by the other. The role of bulky organic matter (farmyard manure, garden compost) is to make the soil structure good enough to support a vigorous and healthy crop. The role of fertilizers is to provide the plants with enough nutrients that they reach their full potential in this soil. In your vegetable garden, one of the most important uses for a general purpose fertilizer is to provide a base dressing just before sowing or planting. Crops which take some time to mature like purple sprouting broccoli or curly kale will need one or more top dressings during the season.  You can always use a slow release fertilizer to steadily release nutrients into the soil or compost for 6 months. Always read the instructions as every feed is different and if you can, choose an organic brand.

April