Tips for your Eco Garden in April – A little sunshine and some cherry blossom and hey presto! Spring is here.
We are all looking for ways to bring more joy, happiness and laughter into our lives in 2023. And nothing will make you smile quite as much as a selection of bright and breezy sunflowers! Research has found that brighter colours in the garden fill us with confidence and optimism to truly lift our spirits.
So why not:
Grow some colourful blooms where you can see them through a window or as you open your patio doors in the morning
Bring the joy inside with summery cut flower displays
Take time to enjoy all those butterflies and bees that just LOVE these flowers
Despite the rainy days and cold nights the daffodils, crocuses and tulips are in bloom. It’s an exciting month, with indoor-sown seeds well into growth and the chance to start sowing outdoors too. Just watch out for frosts that may destroy all your hard work in nurturing your early plants to bud and bloom.
Things to do…
Flowers, Fruit and Veg
A wide selection of bulbs is available at garden centres so now is the perfect time to start planning which plants you’d like to have outdoors during spring and summer!
Try the new sun-loving Swiss Chard – Chard, like many other leafy vegetables, which certainly packs a punch when it comes to vitamins and other excellent health sources. It contains vitamin A, and vitamin K and is a good source of vitamin C and magnesium too!
This veggie treat is lovely to grow too, it can be grown almost all year round and even used in the same way as a cut-and-come-again lettuce. You can cut just the outer leaves or even the top of the plant a couple of inches above the soil when needed and it will grow back resplendent again!
Swiss Chard ‘Fordhook Giant’ is a NEW classic Burpee-bred chard that has thick, dark-green, tender leaves and an enticing, slightly bitter, earthy flavour. It can be sautéed with a little olive oil and lemon juice for a simple feast or used in any dish calling for spinach.
‘Fordhook Giant’ produces dependably heavy yields from late spring until winter even in hot weather. It thrives in full sun!
With a smart garden, you can start growing these plants ahead of time, and then transplant them outdoors as the weather improves. Try some Red Romaine Lettuce, it is super versatile and rich in antioxidants. From Caesar salads to sandwiches, this leafy green adds a delicious flavour and crunchy texture to any dish.
Planting your Summer-flowering bulbs now will give you a variety of beautiful hues in your garden for June and July and later flowering bulbs to provide your garden with a splash of colour in September.
Always prepare the soil first and ensure that drainage is sufficient to prevent the bulbs from rotting. Bulbs bring lots of glorious blooms for minimal effort because they are easy, once planted properly; they only need regular watering to ensure success.
Frost occurs when temperatures fall below 0ºC (32ºF) – and you’ll see small white crystals on the ground and other surfaces. When the frost is forecast, consider protecting your soft fruit bushes and trees with fleece overnight and then remove it during the day when the temperature rises. Ideally, protect soft fruit such as strawberries with cloches or a double covering of fleece, again remove or open the protective layer during the day to allow pollinators to do their stuff.
Trees and Shrubs
Feed trees, shrubs, and hedges with a balanced fertilizer now. This will particularly benefit young, weak, damaged or heavily pruned plants.
Mow when dry – whenever the grass is growing – try to maintain a constant height and over-seed unsightly dead patches from mid-April to early May. Now is the time to remove old plant debris and moss with a spring-tine rake.
Conservatory – Increase the watering of indoor and conservatory plants as days lengthen. Check if plants need watering every few days.
Don’t forget to give greenhouse plants more space as they put on new growth. This will help to prevent disease and to contain early pest infestations
Birds and Wildlife
Attracting wildlife and providing a home in your garden is great natural pest control. You can provide natural habitats that are being lost in the wild. Why not try ‘Butterfly Attractant’ it is based on natural plant extract formulation and encourages the most beautiful and delicate garden insects to settle in your garden.
Keeping chickens for eggs: If you are thinking about keeping chickens – to produce eggs, three hens are probably enough to supply you with eggs all year, although most hens will stop laying during the winter unless you provide them with artificial light. For more information about keeping chickens visit Keeping-Chickens here.
Reclaim and Recycle
Take a look at galvanised steel planters. With vintage styling and a rustic appearance, these planters offer a striking way to display your favourite plants, flowers, herbs or small trees.