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Garden Diary

April

Although known for its showers, April also brings warm sunshine. Along with us, the plants feel that Summer is well on its way and by now you should have many lovely blooms in the garden.

Jobs to be done:

New lawns can be laid this month. Preparation should have been completed in March, so all that is needed now is lightly rake the prepared area, using an ordinary garden rake for turf laying or a spring-tined rake for a seeded lawn. To ensure that the surface is flat, a light rolling will show up any lumps or bumps and by placing a wooden board or plank on the surface with a spirit level on this will guarantee a perfectly flat surface.

If you are sowing seed then pick a day when the soil below is moist but the top 1 inch of soil is dry and no strong winds. Walking up and down, the seed should be scattered from side to side. Repeat this, walking at right angles to the first batch of seed sewing and scattering from side to side once again. With a spring-tined rake you should rake the seeded area very lightly. Protect the seeded area from cats and birds where possible.

If you are turfing your new lawn, lay within 48 hours of delivery if possible and choose a day when the prepared area is reasonably dry.

It is usually best to start laying the turf along the front side of the area, in straight lines and in a forward direction, as close together as possible. Wooden planks should be placed over the new turf if it is necessary to walk on it. Once the turf has been laid, a 50/50 mixture of sand and coarse peat should be spread where the turves join, this should be working in gently with a broom.

During the first season grass should only be topped and never closely mown. Newly laid lawns must also be sufficiently watered-in.

In greenhouses the amount of water given to plants, including cacti, should now be increased. Pot on begonias, gloxinias and cyclamen seedlings. Seeds should now be sewn for tomatoes and cucumbers.

Top Tips:

Caring for your garden can produce wonderful results and a great sense of achievement. These seasonal tips should help save time and prevent your hard work going to waste!

  • Apply organic fertilizer to roses once they have been pruned.
  • Established lawns should receive their first feed and moss should be dealt with.
  • Narcissi dead flower stems should be removed.
  • Systemic sprays should be applied to shrubs to prevent red spider and aphids.
  • Weed, dig and mulch borders that are already established. Hardy annuals should be sown and plants should be fed with liquid fertilizer.
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