Time Spent in Spring Will Reap Rewards in Summer

Advice from Fulham Palace Garden Centre for April gardeners

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Plants are really racing ahead and bursting into life in April. Time spent now in the garden will reap rewards later in the summer, giving you more time to relax and appreciate the fruits of your labour.

Help reduce watering in the garden by following these tips:

Borders

Plant container grown roses but if your soil is heavy and wet, improve its drainage by digging in grit and well-rotted manure, compost or bark and remember to feed them well with a general fertiliser.

Continue to lightly fork over borders and remove any weeds taking care not to damage emerging herbaceous plants.

If not already done apply a general fertiliser such as fish, blood & bone, pelleted chicken manure or growmore to all plants.

Continue to mulch any areas of garden not already done with well-rotted manure or compost.

Continue to remove the faded flowers of bulbs.

Plant summer flowering bulbs such as gladioli, lilies and dahlias.

Wait until the leaves of daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs have gone brown before you trim them.

Begin spraying roses only if necessary to control pests and diseases.

Late frosts can still cause damage to camellia and magnolia buds so use garden fleece to protect plants on frosty nights.

Bedding Plants

If the weather is mild and you’re prepared to protect tender plants from frost you can begin to plant summer bedding plants in borders and containers.

Containers

Remove any exhausted spring flowering plants from your containers and prepare them for summer flowering plants.

Remember to keep all tender plants in a frost-free place.



Lawns

Re-seed or re-turf bald patches of lawn.

Spread lawn fertiliser or combined weed and feed to produce a healthy lawn.

Mow as often as required.

Fruit

Mulch fruit trees with manure or bark if not previously done.

Strawberries should be planted as soon as possible.

If your gooseberries suffered from mildew last year spray with a fungicide.

The Vegetable Garden

Plant out potatoes, onion sets and garlic cloves.

Many outdoor vegetables can now be grown from seed.

Thin out over crowded vegetable seedlings towards the end of the month.

The Greenhouse

Plant tomatoes, aubergines and peppers in unheated greenhouses.

Ponds

Feed fish if they are near the surface.

Plant water lilies or other pond plants once the water starts to warm up.

General Tasks

Use slug and snail control to protect the new shoots of plants.

Clean paths and patio areas so that they look good and are not slippery.

Fulham Palace Garden Centre is in Bishops Avenue, off Fulham Palace Road and is open monday to Saturday from 9.30am till 5pm and 10am till 4pm on Sunday.

The garden centre is supported by the Fairbridge Garden Society who help to raise the profile of the garden centre and create a sense of loyalty. Members organise a variety of trips and events throughout the year as well as raising money for The Prince's Trust Fairbridge programme.

All profits go the The Prince's Trust.

Contact the centre on 0207 736 2640 or email fpgc@princes-trust.org.uk.


March 14, 2014