What to Do in the Garden – Second Week of April

The Flower Garden
Plant out perennials in groups of three, five or seven for maximum effect
Sprinkle fertiliser around clumps of tulips to boost flowering, or use a foliar feed
Sow hardy annual flowers directly into beds where you’d like them to bloom
Prune Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa)
Pick off dead flower heads from spring bulbs
Protect emerging shoots of delphiniums and lupins from slugs and snails using a barrier such as copper tape for pots, copper rings or garlic granules

The Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Sow sweetcorn in deep modular seed trays under cover to plant out in early June
Feed fruit trees and bushes
Plant out onion sets grown in pots under glass
Order vegetable plug plants from mail-order suppliers
Warm soil with cloches or sheets of polythene for early sowings
Plant out maincrop potatoes
Plant asparagus crowns
Sow the following crops this week if conditions are suitable: beetroot, parsnips, turnips, onions, peas and mangetout, broad beans, lettuce and salad leaves, spinach, radish, rocket, mizuna, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts

In The Greenhouse
Buy plug plants and young bedding plants to grow on for baskets, pots and bedding displays
Thin out heavy fruit sets on peaches and nectarines, leaving fruits about 10cm apart
Sow annual climbers, such as cup-and-saucer vine (Cobaea), nasturtium, Rhodochiton and morning glory (Ipomoea)
Grow an early crop of dwarf French beans in a large pot
Repot any top-heavy or pot-bound houseplants
Start feeding young plants about 3-4 weeks after potting up in fresh compost
Pot up rooted cuttings and seedlings

Around The Garden
Remove winter grime from patios and terraces with a pressure washer
Sow new lawns, choosing a grass mix that suits the type of lawn you want
Snip plain green shoots off variegated shrubs
Mow lawns on dry days if grass is growing strongly
Dig out couch grass, ground elder, bindweed and other problem weeds
Place plant supports over clumps of tall-growing perennials such as lupins and delphiniums



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