MID TO LATE APRIL  - SPENDING TIME IN YOUR GARDEN
  • Give azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons a feed with ericaceous fertilizer (sequestrene of iron).
  • Install water butts to all downpipes on you house, greenhouse or garage to collect rain water.
  • Spray your roses now with rose clear.
  • Plant herbs in pots and keep them close to the house so you can reach them easily.
  • Mow lawns regularly gradually lowering the height of the cut as spring progresses.
  • Continue sowing main crop potatoes.

Time is of the Essence

Call it what you will, prioritizing or as my mother says “a stitch in time saves nine”. Now is the optimum time to tackle weed control on your drive around your shrubs and especially around newly planted hedging. If you can spray or even hoe before the weeds grow out of control it’s a much easier task.  Everything in your garden is growing strongly with the good weather and in a couple of days grass that was 3 inches long becomes 9 inches long and dandelions that were not there yesterday are now in full flower. There are a vast amount of weed control products on the market and it can be hard to know which one is the best for a particular area. The spray for a gravel pathway may not be the one to use around a newly planted hedge. There are a number of things you must carefully take into consideration, choose the right spray for the particular location, follow the rate and mixing instructions carefully.  You need a dry calm day to avoid drift and you need to take precautions for yourself.  Use a mask and gloves when using chemicals and don’t forget to wash out your sprayer well with a little bit of washing up liquid and tepid water.  Never use boiling water as it damages the internal workings of sprayers. There are numerous sprays you can use, the following is a short list I find very effective and readily available.  Roundup is a multi-tasker, it can be used around hedges, shrubs and trees, it’s a very safe chemical as it is only taken in by the leaf, not by the root, so it has no after effects on your soil.  In close proximity to plants avoid spray drift, you can mix roundup in a bucket and apply with a paint brush.  Roundup is also available in a gel form with an applicator if you are dealing with grass growing up through shrubs. If you are considering extending a shrub bed and want to kill off grass, spray with roundup and leave for 18 days.  If you don’t wish to wait that long use Resolva, you can dig after 24 hours.  For weed control in non-cropped areas, gravel driveways or interlocking paving Premazor 57 gives good all season control.  If there are existing weeds in these areas add some roundup in the mix as Premazor 57 prevents weeds from growing rather than killing existing ones.  If you want to kill weeds in your lawn you must use a selective weed killer i.e. one that will kill dandelions and daisies and so forth without harming the grass.  Duplizon is very good but any spray containing 24D or MCPA will work. For best control spray about one week after you have fed your lawn when the weeds are actively growing,  choose a calm evening and do it at dusk if possible when the bees have gone home.

April