The Snowdrops have all finished flowering and the weather is starting to get warmer now with a few April showers. The grass is now growing and the daffodils and cyclamen are in full flower on the banks around the garden. The kitchen garden is dug and ready for planting up.
April is one of the busiest months within a garden and it is no different here at The Rococo Garden. Here are some of the tasks the gardeners and volunteers will be undertaking throughout April:
- Last chance to move snowdrops whilst they are still green.
- Start regular mowing, leaving the orchard grass slightly longer to reduce the visibility of badger damage.
- Construct wigwams ready for planting out sweet peas in May, we have already sown ours, but you can still sow them direct to their flowering position.
- Sow half hardy annuals for summer bedding in module trays.
- Plant summer flowering bulbs in well prepared soil.
- Sow annual flower seed for cutting flowers.
- Prune Penstemon and Lavendula and any other tender plants.
- Divide clumps of over grown perennials to propagate from or that are poor flowering.
- Start weeding around the garden, removing perennial weeds and hoeing bare soil.
- Apply a general fertiliser to beds ensuring that the fertiliser doesn’t scorch the plants or damage any new green shoots.
- Start putting in support structures for tall perennials.
- Start watering any containers and pots placed around the garden.
- Plant up pots with herbs around the Bothy.
- Protect Delphinium and Hosta from slug damage.
- Watch for pests and diseases around the garden.
- Start to feed citrus fruit.
- Feed the roses and start to spray against black spot, rusts and pests such as aphids.
- Prune the fig tree.
- Sow new lawns and repair old patches (there are a lot around the garden due to badger and tractor damage!)
- Tie in climbing and rambling roses.
- Protect fruit blossom from late frost.
- Start to sow herb seed.
The Kitchen Garden
The kitchen garden is a full time job within itself and April is a time for sowing lots of seeds, planting potatoes, asparagus and preparing for future crops. Below is a list of tasks for completion in April:
- Chit and plant out 2nd early potatoes during the first half of April and main potatoes the latter part of the month.
- Sow courgette, cucumber, tomato, aubergine, salads, pumpkins, and celeriac indoors in a heated greenhouse or heated propagator. We have a heated propagator in a polytunnel here at Rococo.
- Sow cauliflower and cabbage seed in a seed bed ready for transplanting in June. We sow seed in module trays and pot up into larger pots until the plant is strong and plant out in late July.
- Transplant broad beans grown in pots.
- Sow seed outdoors: beetroot, carrots, Swiss chard, kohl rabi, lettuce, leeks, radish, turnip, spring onions, peas and perpetual spinach.
- Plant Jerusalem artichoke and asparagus.
- Pot up tomato and any other seed grown in a heated propagator.
- Thin out rows of seedling as soon as they are big enough to handle it.
- Protect early sowings with fleece or cloches
- Prepare runner bean supports for sowing in May or planting out in June.
Have you checked out our ‘Ask Rococo’ gardening programme? You can watch the episodes on our main website rococogarden.org.uk. If you have any questions that you would like answering on the programme send them into us at firstname.lastname@example.org or @rococogarden on twitter.
Have a good month and see you back here for the gardening “to do” jobs for May.
All the best,
Steve Quinton BSc(Hons), M.I.Hort
Painswick Rococo Garden
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the garden here at Painswick please give me a call on 07803751022 or email me at email@example.com we will then arrange for you to come in for an informal interview.