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The spell is broken and the wonder, colour, fragrance and freshness reappear!
Written by Adam Woolcott.
Spring has Sprung
This time of year never fails to amaze and surprise me, one minute we seem to be stuck in the depths of winter, almost feeling like a spell has been cast and Spring will never return and then suddenly the spell is broken and wonder, colour, fragrance and freshness reappear!
The clocks have gone forward, the birds are nesting, light levels and the warmth of the sun drastically increase, and the unstoppable explosion of fresh growth begins. Be it weed or loved perennial, clipped hedge or large tree, pot plant or entire beds and borders, now really is the time to seize the day and fall in love with another gardening season.
Aprils Gardening to-do List
The first lawn cut after a long, wet winter always makes such a difference, immediately lifting the look and feel of your whole garden, but just remember to start the new grass-cutting season with a super sharp blade starting on a high cut and gradually lowering the height as the season progresses.
Webb has an amazing range of Lawnmowers for all types and sizes of gardens, with features such as cut and collect, rear discharge, side discharge or a mulching option and power options ranging from cordless to corded, to petrol powered.
Now is a good time to scarify or rake your lawn removing dead grass, moss, twigs, old leaves and general detritus, this lets in air, light and moisture giving your lawn the best chance to thrive.
Scarifiers are good for cutting out moss, lichen and weeds straught out from the root
If you wish, then now is a good time to remove weeds from the lawn and feed it using a combined feed and weed treatment. But think first about the bees and pollinating insects, they’d prefer it if you left some wildflowers amongst the grass, dandelions, daisies, and clover for example. If you’re still set on a weed-free lawn, then consider removing the weeds manually.
This is also a very good time to fill in any bare patches either with turf or grass seed, turf is more instant but not always practical for irregularly shaped areas, for these areas, you can just gently loosen the soil surface, sprinkle over some grass seed and then cover with a thin layer of fine topsoil before finally watering. Keep moist and the grass seed should start to grow in about two weeks.
What to Plant in April
Now is the time to plant seeds, bulbs, tubers, and perennials in fact you’re spoilt for choice. Seeds of flowers and vegetables that aren’t frost tolerant can be started on a bright windowsill or in a greenhouse or cold frame with some extra heat and eventually planted out when large enough and the risk of frost has gone, however, frost tolerant ones can be sown directly where they’re going to flower or be harvested.
The information on the back of the seed packets will say sow under glass or directly where you want them to grow.
Summer flowering bulbs such as freesias, gladioli, lilies, and begonias can be planted now although strictly speaking some of these are corms and tubers.
Gaps and spaces in the garden? then don’t worry, now is the ideal time to plant shrubs and perennials as the soil is warming up and the day length ever increasing plus as these plants emerge from winter you can see exactly what you purchase.
Prepare the soil well before planting new plants, dig in lots of organic material like well-rotted manure or old compost and add some fertiliser as per manufacturer’s instructions, once planted put a layer of mulch around the plants, avoiding the stems, this will suppress weeds and help prevent moisture loss.
Remove all dead, damaged, or diseased growth from your plants down to healthy buds and shoots, start watering pots and planters.
General advice for the more ornamental areas of your garden this time of year would be, to remove weeds whilst they’re small and easy to deal with, remove all dead, damaged, or diseased growth from your plants down to healthy buds and shoots, start watering pots and planters, you’ll be surprised how quickly they dry out now, and divide up big clumps of perennials to make more free plants!
Grow Your Own !
In addition to the ornamental parts of your garden, you may well have an allotment or growing area for fruit and vegetables and here also it’s time for full steam ahead.
Complete any final fruit pruning, removing dead, diseased, damaged, or wood that is rubbing or crossing.
Remove any dead or rotting vegetation that may create breeding areas for slugs and snails, hoe off any weed seedlings whilst they’re still small and they’ll just frazzle up in the sunlight and die and check for the emergence of pests so you can get on top of them before they overwhelm your crops.
Over the winter period with heavy rain your soil may have become compacted, waterlogged and lacking air and is in no fit state for cultivation and to be honest you’re not in the mood for hours of back-breaking digging!
This needn’t be a problem, once your soil has dried out to the point where you can walk over it, without it sticking to your footwear then you can call in the calvary in the form of Webb Tillers.
These machines will quickly break up and cultivate the top area of soil making it easy to plant and sow your vegetables you can even add a layer of organic material before you start, and these machines will mix it in with the soil carrying out two jobs in one go.
An easy, lightweight option is the Webb cordless 19cm tiller setting you free from cables and power points and is great for smaller areas.
For larger areas consider the Webb 36cm or 56cm petrol tiller option giving you amazing power that’s delivered in a non- intimidating easy-to-use way and will save hours of physical manual cultivation.
Bank holidays offer an excellent chance to get some extra time to spruce up the garden.
So dig out your favourite garden boots and gloves, feel the warmth of the sun on your face again, and soak up the joy and pleasure of another year’s gardening
Happy Spring Gardening
Adam has over 30 years of experience as a professional gardener and has many accolades, but is probably best known for his four Gold Medals at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show and his three BBC/RHS People’s Choice Awards at the show (of which he is particularly proud) which he won as one half of Woolcott & Smith.