MID APRIL TASKS FOR YOUR GARDEN
- Plant herbs in pots and keep them near the house so that you can easily access them.
- Make sure that you carry them into the house for the night or fleece or cover them if they are in a tunnel or greenhouse if you have tender seedlings.
- If conditions are right, sow seeds of the following crops this week: beetroot, parsnips, turnips, onions, peas and mangetout, large beans, lettuce and salad leaves, spinach, radish, rocket, pak choi, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
- Offer generous feed with acidic (ericaceous) fertiliser to azaleas and acid-loving shrubs.
- Plant the seedlings of sweet peas sown last autumn
- Install water butts on your home, shed or greenhouse for all downpipes, to capture rainwater.
- Tie to plant supporters in young delphinium growth and defend them from a slug attack.
- Raise and break Hemerocallis clumps.
- Secure emerging clematis shoots to supports, taking care not to snap their fragile stems.
- Plant some garlic in pots, so you can move it around to where it is needed, for aphid protection.
- Start using your garlic spray to ward off disease on your disease vulnerable roses.
- Mow lawns regularly, gradually lowering the height of the cut as spring progresses.
- Throw sheets of fleece over fruit trees on frosty nights to protect blossom
- Plant out sets of onions and shallots.
- To prevent a cabbage root fly attack, place collars around the brassica stems.
Why not use lilies or dahlias to add a temporary, but timely, burst of colour if your garden suffers from gaps throughout the summer? Now plant bulbs into pots and you can simply drop them, pot and all into the patio displays, or even into the border of your flower.#
Give it a try... Last year, we had great success with the tomato called 'Totem.' Totem is a dwarf that has been bred in packs, pots, and containers for growing. It flowers very quickly and requires little support until the fruit begins to swell when a stake is required due to the sheer weight of the fruit produced.When fully ripened, the round fruit is crimson in color and it lasts long on the vine, making it suitable for picking and using in salads or barbecues.
Rosa Banksiae ‘Lutea’ An evergreen rose that is extremely easy to train. It’s exceptional vigour and virtually thornless whippy canes makes it easy to train along a fence, up an old dead tree, or over a garden shed .It produces clusters of small pale yellow flowers. They don't appear to fade with age, as many of the older yellow roses do, and they have a slight fruity fragrance. Although each flower may not have a strong perfume, when you multiply that by several thousand, then the scent is enough to perfume an entire area of your garden. Lutea would look lovely combined with wisteria, which flowers at much the same time. It is happiest in a sunny sheltered site (same as wisteria) and be sure to prune after flowering.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes, but they also attract and provide food for different species of wildlife. It is easy to grow many herbs and they have great ornamental value. Here are a few in the garden that you might consider planting. Borage is an attractive plant that has a mild cucumber flavour with hairy leaves. For pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies, its delicate blue flowers are a magnet. As it is said to add flavor to the strawberries, we often plant borage in our strawberry tunnels, and the girls in the coffee shop sometimes steal the flowers to decorate their cakes. One of the best plants to grow to attract bees and butterflies is Lavandula. Hundreds of species and cultivars are available to choose from, producing attractive scented May-September blooms. In this area, we have found the two best varieties are 'Munstead' and 'Hidcote' if you plant in any quantity. Fennel produces enticing yellow blooms that attract hoverflies if left to flower, and birds enjoy the seeds in autumn and winter. Sage, Salvia officinalis, is best known for the distinctive taste of its leaves, but its tiny blue blooms, if left to flower, provide bees and butterflies with nectar and pollen.