April in the garden: All systems go!
The last time I wrote this column I was ready to put my feet up for the winter, relax, and plan for the next gardening year. Now Spring is in the air, and it’s all very different!
April is that unpredictable month when we might get lovely warm sun, showers, and of course, late frosts! I’ve been keeping a keen eye on the forecast to prepare for freezing nights and have been using bubble wrap from deliveries to protect my blossoming young fruit trees.
My vegetable seedlings are doing well and my veg patch has been cleared of weeds, with one of my mature compost heaps dug into the plot. Chitted potatoes can go in now, but remember to watch out for frosts and cover them as the growing tips poking out are very vulnerable.
April showers mean the ground is soft and weeds are easy to pull up, but the warmer sun means they’ll grow quickly if you don’t keep on top of them! Mulch your beds after weeding to keep the moisture in and weeds at bay. This month is when we often finish cutting back any dead foliage on perennials and ornamental grass plants to make way for new growth, do the first lawn-mowing of the year, and generally tidy things up in preparation for the explosion of growth in the coming weeks.
All this tidiness is greatly satisfying, but how about considering the wildlife that brings so much joy to the garden? During lockdown many of us have come to appreciate the natural flora and fauna around us. Try to leave a few scruffy patches hidden out of sight where animals will thrive. Mowing your lawn less and letting parts of it grow long will not only mean less work for you in the garden, but it will also help to give nature a home, creating a mini jungle through which beetles, frogs and small mammals will scurry. You may not realise what wildflowers may actually be hidden in your lawn and they will grab this opportunity to put on a show. For a couple of years now I’ve left a large swathe of grass to grow and orchids have appeared that have clearly been waiting for years to see the light of day. I’d mowed a twisty path through it early on so we could wander through it which I later saw on Google Maps. It looked awesome!
With the coming of Spring the Eynsford Gardeners’ Club is starting to bloom again. We’ve not been able to put on a Spring Show, and the Summer Show is unlikely to go ahead, but we’re starting to plan for the Annual (Autumn) Show in September. We’ve still been able to do the hyacinth competition and we hope you are preparing for the potato competition. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven’t yet got your seed potato! We’ll meet up on 4th September for the weigh-in and we’ll be in touch nearer the time with more details. It was fantastic to see everybody at the train station car park last year and we look forward to seeing you all again!
Eynsford Gardeners' Club