Time to tend your lawn
After that unexpected, and unwanted cold snap that hit the Island throughout March, I guess we can now expect a few inevitable April showers, but hopefully also some sunny days, as our gardens continue to spring into life.
If your lawn is like mine, then it seems that it needs mowing virtually all year round. But now really is the time to turn your attention to it in earnest. You can start to sow lawn seed in any patchy areas and feed it with a fertiliser that’s high in nitrogen. With lawns actively growing, they require not only feeding, but also treatment to kill moss, along with weeding and regular mowing.
Fingers crossed there will be no more frosts for at least six months, so another task is to dig in any mulch that you laid on your beds, and start to plant out a variety of crops as the soil begins to slowly warm up. Plant your potatoes outside in the ground or in potato grow bags, while cabbages, parsnips and radishes can be put directly into the earth, and strawberry beds can also be planted. I always keep my strawberry plants in their pots, so they don’t spread and take up too much valuable space.
Make sure you prepare your vegetable seed beds properly. That means removing weeds and forking in compost to enrich the soil. Ideally, about three inches of well rotted manure is needed on your beds to prepare for the growing season. A good way to keep soil warmer and drier in preparation for planting is to cover it with plastic sheeting.
If you are planning to sow tomato seeds this spring, then start in the green house, or if you don’t have one, a sunny spot on a window sill should do the trick.
April is the last month before the summer season to plant shrubs in your garden. There is a huge range of shrubs, both deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen on offer, and your local Garden Centre should be able to offer plenty of advice on the right shrub for the right place, and the appropriate soil conditions. As with most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to shrubs, so always opt for a good quality plant rather than one that might promise to thrive, but never seems to deliver.
So, here’s hoping you manage to steer clear of those April showers, and take consolation from the fact they will help your garden come alive even more in the forthcoming weeks.