Cutting Edge, Preston

General Garden Care in April

April is an industrious month for gardeners everywhere, with the whole garden in need of some tender loving care after the gloom of winter. Days will be mild with extended sunlight; this is the start of the new gardening season.

Trees and Shrubs

Give hedges such as box a spring clipping. Prune back the taller stems of dogwoods to achieve the maximum colour next winter. Mulch newly planted trees and shrubs.

Fruit

If you have small fruit trees or bushes and a late frost is forecast then cover them with fleece to protect the blossom.

Flowers

Stake and tie any plants that need it, and protect tender shrubs from cold weather with fleece. Deadhead winter primroses and pansies along with daffodils and tulips and leave stems and leaves to die down naturally.

Lawns

With the milder weather and April showers lawns will now be growing well, so mow regularly with the blades set high. Re-edge if required keeping edges well trimmed. Treat weeds such as daisies and dandelions and remove moss.

Ponds

Divide and re-pot marginal plants and thin out aquatic plants before they start to grow and take over the pond.

Pots

April is an ideal time to plant arum lilies in terracotta pots. Place a layer of stones at the bottom followed by a layer of compost (around 5cm in depth) mixed with grit or gravel. Position the lily on to the compost, fill the rest of the pot and water generously and leave somewhere warm.