Happy Gardening April!
Now that the days are officially longer, it’s time to head outdoors and get planting again.
And did you know that by late April the sun is as high in the sky as in mid-August, so it is possible to reach temperatures of 27C (80F). But the seas around us warm up more slowly and when a north wind blows, snow showers and night frosts are likely. The double wall of your garden4me raised planter though will protect roots from frost.
Handy Monthly Tips
Top up your raised planter with fresh compost. If your planter is full, remove the top 5cm of old compost and replace with new.
Winter flowering heathers are a great source of food for bees during the winter season – trim plants as the flowers disappear, to prevent the plants becoming leggy.
Sow hardy annuals, such as sunflowers, calendula, poppy, love-in-a-mist, larkspur, nasturtium, alyssum and cornflower, straight into your raised garden.
Plant herbaceous perennials such as Geranium and oriental poppies. Check that the plants you buy have strong, green shoots.
Plant summer flowering bulbs such as Gladioli and Lilies to fill your planter with a beautiful display of flowers.
And don’t forget plug plants can be a quick way to start your summer display – read our March calendar for more information.
The double wall of your raised planter will mean the compost is warm enough to sow direct outside. Salad leaves are a good candidate – try chard ‘Pink Flamingo’ – it has bright pink stalks which will liven up salad if picked as baby leaves.
Cucumbers are quick growing and there is still time to sow some, particularly if you choose the small-fruited varieties. Try ‘Miniature White’ which produces small, pale fruits just a couple of inches long.
Brassicas need to be under way this month. Kale, Brussels sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli all fare best when sown direct – using the dividers to sow seeds in each pocket which will help as you can sow just enough to fill each section.
And as we mentioned in last month’s calendar – if you prefer a hassle free start to your crop then don’t forget you can also buy vegetable plants.
Raised planters are an ideal height for children and gardening with them is an activity you can all enjoy. Children love being outdoors and will really enjoy planting with you – why not get them to pot up herbs and guess which is which from the smell. And get them involved in sowing sunflowers and measuring how high they grow over the next few months. They can also sow sweet peas for summer colour and a wonderful fragrance.
Remove dirt from your paths and paved areas before summer arrives. Use a pressure washer or special patio cleaner.
Make sure bird baths and bird feeders are kept topped up to encourage birds.
garden4me Flower of the Month
garden4me Vegetable of the Month
Coming in the May calendar – more handy hints, flower of the month, veg of the month