April is usually the first month that the sun makes an appearance over the garden and probably the first time in the year that you actually feel like getting out in the garden and preparing for the coming summer. It is important to make an early start on the garden though and work that you do now in April and May will reap rewards later in the year when your garden really starts to bloom. Even though there is still a chance of a late frost, things are beginning to grow so, get in your garden now and here are ten things that you should be doing to prepare for the summer months.
1. Spring clean
If you haven’t already done so, then now is the time to clean up after the winter. Clear away any dead plant growth and any other rubbish you left out in the cold months. The ground is soft enough to hoe now so you can remove any weeds and hoe the borders before the weeds get a chance to really take hold.
You should be pruning your shrubs, hedges and trees now, before any birds begin to nest. Cut back foliage from any evergreen shrubs and prune back bushes, summer flowering shrubs and cut off any dead wood to help encourage new and healthy growth in the new season. All hedges, shrubs and trees will thank you for a spring feed, so give them a touch of fertilizer along with some Zerodour Flower Power to give them a good start to the growing season.
3. Re-pot and prepare geraniums
Towards the end of April or early in May is the time to re-pot geraniums and prepare them for their return to the outside world. All you need to do is re-pot them in some soil mixed with some organic compost, cut back any dead tips and then water thoroughly. Leave them on a sunny window sill for now and when they start to grow again, you can begin to feed them. If you add some Zerodour Flower Power, now, to the new soil and compost mix then you will reap the benefits of the water retention properties of Flower Power later on in the hot summer months.
4. Dead head spring bulbs
Dead head narcissi and daffodils, to keep them tidy, but, remember not to remove the leaves. Let the leaves die down naturally and this will help to replenish the bulb for the next season. You can also give them a feed around this time too, and that extra nourishment will be stored in the bulb for the next year.
5. Plant summer bulbs
Now is the time to start planting your summer bulbs, such as gladioli. Dig a small hole for each clump of bulbs, break up any large clumps in the soil and add some feed and Zerodour Flower Power to the mix before planting your bulbs in clumps, heads up, and then water in thoroughly. We recommend not planting all your summer bulbs in one go. Spread you’re planting over a few weeks and you will get a steady supply of colour, for longer, during the summer months.
6. Clean and repair your tools
It’s best to get these jobs out of the way too, so clean and repair your garden tools and give the lawnmower a quick service. If it’s warm enough, you can treat trellises and fences at this time of year as well, before the plants begin to get in the way.
7. Add fertilizer to the borders
The soil begins to warm up at this time of year, so, once you have weeded and hoed your borders, give your soil its first taste of some fertilizer of the year and give your plants a head start. Do this before mulching and if you add a little of Zerodour Flower Power with the fertilizer, the Flower Power will absorb some of the nutrients from the fertilizer and release it slowly throughout the summer.
Mulching at this time of year will help prevent the invasion of the weeds in the later months. Spread a mulch of bark or compost around established bushes, shrubs and trees and over borders and it will also help to retain moisture in the soil as well.
9. Plant peas
Towards the end of April or early May is the time to sow peas in your vegetable garden. Sow your peas in a sunny part of the garden, leaving about two inches between each one and this will encourage growth. Remember to add plenty of compost and a sprinkle of Zerodour Flower Power and this will help to retain the moisture in soil which is especially important for peas if we have a long hot summer.
10. Watch out for the aphids!
Green fly and black fly can begin to multiply around this time of year so keep an eye out for them and catch them early. Check your plants for any first signs of aphids and if see them, spray them with an insecticide now. If you prefer a more organic approach, a solution of water and crushed garlic will remove them.