April's guide here, offering you a quick look at what jobs and pieces of equipment you might need in this month. The jobs are highlighted in bold and black while the tools you may need are in blue.
By April the garden should be waking up properly, bathing in April showers, scratching its head and asking for a cup of tea and the morning paper. Days should be getting warmer, hedges and bushes should be leafing nicely and mysterious looking and exciting shoots should be pushing up from under the soil. Time to gird your loins and prepare for some serious gardening then!
Mow that lawn. It will need keeping under control at this stage in the year.You will need an efficient lawn mower. Make sure your lawn mower is in good shape or if not is on its last wheels, treat yourself to a new one.
Oleo-Mac G48-TE Self-Propelled Electric Lawn Mower
Lawn edging. You will need to get hold of some edging shears or a line trimmer.
April is also the month to get new asparagus beds planted and time to sow and propagate some cucumbers, aubergines and tomatoes (indoors of course) and for you flower lovers, early April this is the time to slip in some primulas, to plant gladioli and sow sweet peas.
Take this opportunity also to sow some hardy annuals like nasturtiums, pansies, foxgloves, cornflowers or calendula.
But first, for optimal sowing, you have to work that soil and create a fine tilth. You need the soil to be fairly dry.
Towards the end of the month you can happily sow a variety of vegetables outside like broad beans, beetroots, calabrese, carrots, fennel, sweetcorn, turnips, french beans, runner beans, swedes, harvest and sow cabbage, radishes and spinach, transplant your seeding onions, shallots sow or transplant peppers.
It is also time to harvest rhubarb and even some crops like melons and peas can go in from now until June. You will need to be even and precise with your peas, sowing in three rows and keeping each seed about five to six centimetres apart.
Hedge trimming. Use a pruning saw to remove any dead branches then a good hedge trimmer should be adequate for the rest. (See image below)
Mitox HTDS-600 Double-Sided Petrol Hedge trimmer
Slugs are a permanent problem but particularly when it’s warm and wet, so pick slugs off the leaves before they eat everything. As well as this, keeping your tilth fine and your soil well cultivated also helps as it disturbs the eggs of the slugs in the ground and keeps the soil dry making it harder for the slugs to get around.
By mid April you can be sowing sunflowers, always good for cheering the soul and by late April you should thinking about weeding rock gardens and small borders. You'll need some hand tools, specially designed for small gardens, borders and rockeries.
Oh, and get your water collection system sorted. Tubs under every down-pipe and maybe a tank by your shed will help. When those April showers do come you way, you don’t want to waste them!