April in the garden – plenty to do!

April is a busy month in the garden and there is plenty to be getting on with as the soil dries out and gradually warms up in the spring sunshine. It’s when the garden suddenly comes back to life after a long winter and a time to enjoy the lovely spring plants.

Summer is still a long way off so to enjoy spring to its fullest I plant a couple of spring flowering hanging baskets with a selection of spring flowering bulbs, perennials and alpines for instant colour. Planted now you will have colour for a couple of months

First early potatoes can be planted outside in the garden now. The tubers should be planted approx 10cm deep and 30-15cm apart in well prepared ground.

Spring is a good time to establish clematis in the garden and one of my favourites is one called Clematis ‘Stolwyjk Gold’ which has attractive golden foliage and blue, bell-shaped flowers that open in late April.

Clematis 'Stolwyjk Gold'

Clematis ‘Stolwyjk Gold’

Broadbean plants started off in cell trays can be planted out into the veg plot as can shallots, onions sets and early summer cabbages.

Time to plant shallots

Time to plant shallots

As hostas and other perennials start to produce new shoots it is important to protect the new leaves from slug and snail damage with your preferred method of control!

If you have young apples trees or trained specimens such as cordons or step-overs, it is worth covering over the plants on frosty nights with fleece to protect the blossom from frost. Once the flowers are damaged like the one in the photograph, they won’t produce fruit this season.

As daffodil flowers start to fade e a wonderful display. Once flowering comes to an end, remember to dead head the faded blooms to allow the plant to divert its energy back into the bulb.