April Work In The Garden With Cousin Jack

Established Lawns:
Mow, aerate, apply spring fertiliser, and scarify. Continue mow-ing frequently, lowering the blades of each successive cut, down to a minimum of half-inch. Level humps and fill in hollows. Apply selective weed-killers and mercurised moss compounds.
Complete pruning. Feed with rose fertiliser and hoe it into the soil. Tie new growths of climbers and ramblers to a separate cane to simplify pruning later. Water newly planted roses during prolonged dry weather. Mulch rose beds with manure, gar-den compost.
Hardy Herbaceous Plants:
Plant late-flowering herbaceous plants and those slow to make new growth. Lift and divide old clumps of Michaelmas daisies, replanting on well dug and manured ground.
Plant out healthy dormant tubers in mild areas towards the end of the month. Prepare the soil as for young plants, and protect the new shoots from spring frosts when they appear above ground. Divide clumps of tubers to increase stock.
Begin hoeing and dress the soil with fertiliser before hand.

Finish planting bulbs. Keep beds weeded. Sow seeds in boxes outdoors. Spray monthly with a systemic insecticide to control virus-carrying- aphids. Sweet Peas:
Plant out spring-sown seedlings. Start restricting growth on plants grown as cordons, removing all tendrils and side shoots.

Flowers from Seed:
Complete seed purchases. Sow hardy annuals outdoors. Dress seed before sowing and fork in a general fertiliser.
Under Glass:
Complete sowing of half-hardy annuals. Move forward batches of half-hardy perennials to cold frames. Spray with systemic insecticide.
Re-plant plants which lack vigour, or which have been lifted slightly out of the ground. Dig the ground and apply a general fertiliser after lifting these plants. Be careful not to damage self-sown seedlings around and some short-lived plants.
Water Plants and Pools:
Start planting in pools when weather is warm. Saturate all soil before planting. Set rhizomes or tubers of water lilies at about 15 degrees to the hori-zontal, place floating plants on the surface of water.
Greenhouse and Frames:
In sunny spells, shade young seedlings and newly potted plants, and keep the house well ventilated. Increase water supply to newly potted plants and continue feeding established plants. Plant tomatoes in a cool greenhouse in the bed prepared last month. Support tomato plants with canes or strings. To help them set spray lightly at midday in sunny weather, or bush or shake the flowers in dull weather. Remove all side shoots from leaf axils. Sow seeds of tomatoes to be planted outdoors later potting into 3in. pots.
Trees and shrubs:
Plant evergreen shrubs during showery weather. Continue planting pot-grow wall shrubs. Water newly planted trees and shrubs in dry weather and mulch with lawn mowings.
Lightly prune trees and shrubs which have finished flowering. Cut back for-sythia after flowering to within to buds of old growth. Cut hard back those shrubs with flower on current season’s growth such as buddleia davidii and hydrangea paniculata grandi flora.
Complete planting this month. Continue propagating by layers and heel cut-tings. Cut all heathers that have finished flowering.
Watch flowering and setting of apples. pears, plums and cherries to ascertain probable size of crop. Keep a watch for pests on flowers and fruitlets. Protect wall trees and soft fruit bushes against frost while in bloom.
Plant onion sets and sow salad crops in the north. Plant early potatoes, sow late summer cauliflowers, sow wrinkle-seed-ed peas, sow main crop carrots, cover potato foliage if frost threatens, sow globe beetroot. Plant out late summer cabbages, sow winter cabbages, and purple-sprouting and spring-heading broccoli. Remove rhubarb flowers as soon as seen.
House Plants:
Give plants their spring clean, removing dead leaves and washing off dust. Slightly increase the rate of watering again. Give cacti their first watering of the season. Give a liquid house-plant fertiliser to all plants you have had for more than six months. Propagate house plants by cuttings, division, offsets or layering. Mulch: Mulch beds and borders when they have warmed up after destroying weeds with the hoe and making sure ground is moist.

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