April gardening tips from Otter Garden Centres
Spring has finally sprung in the South West and we’re looking forward to catching up on all the jobs that need doing in the garden.
At this time of year, we always suggest planning ahead. We’ve had lots (and lots) of rain, and now it’s getting warmer, so things are happening fast in the garden – you’ll have noticed lots of weed seedlings appearing so catch them as they start to appear, before they flower and set to seed. The soil is moist at the moment so you’ll be able to get down to any deep roots easily.
This time of year is all about planning, whether that’s working with the plants you already have, or thinking ahead for new ones you want to grow. There are, of course, plenty of plants to choose from in our garden centres, and many helpful offers for multibuys, subject to availability.
Example Offers – more instore
- Enjoy the fragrance of French lavender with our 3 for 2 offer, £9.99 each (2-litre pot).
- Lure butterflies to your garden with our special 6-pack of wildflower plants for only £9.99 (ends 31 May 2018 or while stocks last).
- Grow star jasmine in sun or part shade on a wall or fence. Just £19.99 each or 2 for £30 (subject to availability, offer ends 31 May 2018).
Summer-flowering bulbs can be planted throughout April. You may have some old favourites that perform well each year, but this year perhaps you could try something new. There are always new varieties of summer bulbs available, come along and have a browse and see what catches your eye, whether it’s a blowsy show-off dahlia, gentle gladioli, scented lilies or glamorous begonia. Plant just three or four bulbs if you’re not sure, and see how they perform. Summer bulbs tend to do best in well-drained soil in the sunniest position in your garden.
Even though it’s not that warm yet, you’ll need to keep an eye on the temperature in your greenhouses. What starts off as a chilly morning can turn into a warm day by noon, so make sure there’s sufficient ventilation. You want to look after those precious seedlings after all.
Don’t neglect any shrubs, but give them a bit of TLC with a mulch of well-rotted compost. That’ll help keep the weeds at bay and make sure the moisture stays where it’s needed as the days warm up. Keep the mulch away from the stems to avoid fungal rot.
If you haven’t done it already, have a bit of a tidy in your garden shed in preparation for the season to come. Most of us are guilty of hanging on to old plastic flower pots. You can bring them in to one of our branches for recycling and clear some much needed space. If your shed is looking lacklustre, come and see our display of sheds in Ottery St Mary and treat yourself to a replacement!
General April gardening tips
- If you have a compost bin, take a look to see if the compost is ready to use.
- Invest in some potting compost (offers available instore) and store in a cool dry place ready for when you need it.
- Buy your grow bags ready for planting (2 for 1 voucher in our Beautiful Gardens Magazine)
- If your soil is heavy, dig in organic matter to break it up and improve drainage.
- Tidy up your containers, remove dead flowers and spent plants and top up with fresh compost ready for new planting.
- Pests and diseases start with the weather warming up, so tackle them at this early stage and you’ll avoid heartache later.
- You can still look after wild birds by feeding them – look out for special mixes for nesting birds.