April in the garden

April is a busy time in the garden as it is change of season when old and dead summer flowers and vegetables need to be pulled out and replaced with winter plants and spring bulbs.

Seedlings

To do:

  • Time to pull out dead and tired summer flowers and vegetables.
  • Prepare beds with compost and fertiliser and dig in well.
  • Deadhead those all year round seedlings like Dianthus and Gazanias and feed regularly.

Flowers and seeds to plant

Flowers:

  • Sun: plant Pansies, Violas, Calendula, Stocks, Dianthus, Lobelia, Sweet peas, Nemesias, penstemons.
  • Shade: plant Primula, Primroses, Primula Obconica, Petunias, Cineraria.
  • Flowers: sow African Daisies, Virginian Stocks, Sweet Peas, Poppies, Chrysanthemums, Mesembryanthemums.
  • Winter mixes for sun and shade as well as tall and dwarf varieties are available.

Tip:

  • Remember that climbing sweet peas need support.
  • Dianthus need regular dead heading to keep them flowering for longer.
  • Feed every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser.

Vegetables seedlings and seeds to be planted:

Vegetables:

Vegetables like to be planted in sun.

To do:

  • Remove spent summer vegetable seedlings
  • Prepare vegetable beds with organic compost and fertiliser.
  • Plant Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, various oriental vegetables, Leeks, Parsely.
  • Seeds to be sown in Winter:
  • Sow Peas, Broad Beans, Beetroot, Rocket, Onions, Celery, Carrots, Parsnips, Lettuce

Tip:

  • Ensure that vegetables like peas and broad beans that need support are supported.
  • When vegetables are ready, pick regularly to ensure a longer fruit-bearing season.
  • Bulbs

Now is the time to plant your spring bulbs.

Prepare your beds for bulbs by digging in compost and fertilizer.

Bulbs for semi – shade and shade:

  • plant various Daffodils,
  • Narcissus,
  • Hyacinths,
  • Freesias,
  • Grape Hyacinths and
  • Snow Drops.

Bulbs for sun:

  • plant Ixias,
  • Sparaxis,
  • Ranunculus,
  • Freesias,
  • Tritonias.

Tip:

  • feed bulbs regularly with bulb food.
  • Keep bulbs mulched.
  • When your Freesias and Sweet peas are flowering, pick them regularly. The saying goes: the more you pick the more you get.

Perennials

  • This is a good time to split some of your perennials such as Day Lilies, Agapanthus, Dietes, Gaura and many others.
  • Prepare soil by digging in lots of compost and fertiliser to a depth of about half a meter.
  • Keep winter flowering perennials well watered and fed. Cut back on watering summer flowering perennials.
  • Mulch your beds.
  • It is not too late to plant perennials such as Statice, Salvias, Cyclamen and Geraniums.

Tip:

  • keep your eyes open for caterpillars on your Clivia, Crinums and Amaryllus.
  • Feed your winter flowering perennials with a slow – release fertiliser.

Shrubs

Shrubs can be planted at any time of the year. Now is a good time as there wont be much top growth but the roots will develop and they should take off in Spring.

  • Deadhead late summer flowering plants.
  • Cut out any dead and diseased wood.
  • Trim to shape hedges and standards in the garden.
  • This is the ideal time to plant Azaleas and Camellias. Remember that they are acid lovers so mulch with acid compost.
  • Keep winter flowering shrubs well watered and fertilised and cut down watering for the rest.
  • Keep beds well mulched to keep the moisture in, temperature even at the roots and help reduce weeds.

Tip: contact Schaffler’s Landscaping for pruning.

  • Consider planting deciduous shrubs as they can add character to the garden.

Roses

The Autumn flush is over.

  • Deadhead roses regularly.
  • Continue to spray your roses every two weeks with a cocktail as a preventative measure against bugs and diseases.
  • If infected, spray with a cocktail on a weekly basis until problem sorted out.
  • Keep roses well mulched at all times.

Tip:

  • Some roses are looking untidy and one is tempted to give them a good pruning, DON’T! Just trim them a little and leave the major pruning to July.

Lawn

  • Feed your lawn for the last time this season.
  • Reduce the watering of your lawn.
  • Don’t cut existing lawns too short.
  • Good time plant new grass areas from seed or grass plugs.

General tips

  • Autumn and winter is a good time to do the hard landscaping like paving, pools, fish ponds ect.
  • Doing maintenance on tool sheds, benches, lappas, ect.

Tip: come and speak to Peter, our man in the fish shop, if you are having any problems with your pond or fish.

Are you a bird lover?

There is less food around for birds in Autumn and Winter so this is the ideal time to start feeding birds with wild bird seed and suet. These give the birds energy in the colder months.

  • Keep bird baths full of water, especially in the Summer rainfall regions.
  • If you don’t have one, invest in one and you wont be sorry.
  • Feed the little White Eyes and Sun birds with suger water to help them make it through the winter.