Hints & Tips: For April / May by David Greaves
Now Spring is here and the temperature is rising there are numerous jobs to be tended to. Firstly plant any new evergreen trees, shrubs and hedges and move any existing evergreens.
Next, move onto your rose and shrub beds, here you can apply compost mulch approximately 5 - 7.cm to assist the retaining of moisture during dry spells.
Begin to mow your grass on a high setting, where weeds and moss are a problem, apply a combined lawn feed with weed and moss killer.
Don’t forget your pond if you have one, make sure you feed any large aquatic plants.
At this time of year there are always surprises with the weather, one day the sun is out and the temperatures are rising and then suddenly we have an early morning frost which can devastate unprotected plants, so make sure that you protect fruit blossom from any late frosts.
Continue planting potatoes and finish planting onion sets by mid-April. Prune young stone fruit trees such as cherries and plums as the leaf buds open.
From the end of April watch for caterpillar like larvae of gooseberry sawfly which can swiftly defoliate gooseberries, redcurrant and white currants.
Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials that you want to propagate. Bamboos and clumps of bulbs of rhizomes can be divided in the same way.
Cut back clumps of Spring-flowering perennials such as Pulmonaria and Doronicum to encourage a fresh flush of foliage.
Apply liquid fertiliser to spring bulbs after they have flowered to encourage flowering next year.
Once the danger of frost has passed cut back tender shrubs and sub-shrubs such as Penstemon, Caryopteris and Fuchsia.