Spring has now sprung! There is blossom on the trees and hawthorn hedges are leafing up, along with the cheery blooms of daffodils and primroses enjoying the sunshine between the rain showers. Now is a great time to start sowing and planting outdoors but be mindful there is still the risk of occasional frosts. Here is a list of things to do in the garden at the end of March and through April:
Keep weeds under control before they get a hold
Weeds can be controlled with the help of weedkillers or by cultural and organic control measures that rely on killing or restricting the weeds physically. This can be done by removing them manually, smothering weeds with plastic, burning or by using weed barriers.
Protect fruit blossom and non-hardy plants from frost
Most top fruit and soft fruit are very hardy but once they start spring growth the flowers and buds are particularly vulnerable to frosts. You can protect frost sensitive plants by wrapping in fleece or by using a cloche.
Sow hardy annuals and herb seeds
Many vegetables, annuals, biennials and herbaceous plants can be grown from seed sown outdoors. The secret to success is to prepare a good seedbed, free of weeds and with a crumble-like soil-surface texture.
Sow new lawns and repair any bare patches
Patches in lawns can appear for a number of reasons and when they do, it is always advisable to repair them. Re-seeding or turfing these areas will prevent weeds germinating in the bare patches, and of course, it will look much better. It is best to repair these areas in the spring or autumn.
Top dress containers
Growing plants in containers is a great way to bring life and colour into otherwise dull spots in your garden such as patios, balconies and even window boxes. Almost any plant can be grown in a container.
Plant summer flowering bulbs
Bulbs are great for adding colour to your garden. Planting summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies and gladioli can provide dramatic, tall blooms that are scented.
Put up some bird boxes
Birds will be looking for suitable places to nest and bird boxes increase their choice of nesting sites. Bird boxes hung on walls tend to be safer from predators such as cats than those hung on trees. A north or north-east facing position is best as strong sun can make nest boxes too hot and uninviting.