April Gardening & Landscaping Guide

April Gardening & Landscaping Guide

General Gardening Tips for April

1. Getting the soil back in shape

Soil conditioning is top of the list for this time of the year. Digging organic compost and sheep pellets through the garden gets plenty of soil biology going and replenishes nutrients that have been used over the summer growing season.

2. Autumn is Nature’s best planting time

The soil is warm, there’s moisture around so plants can establish ahead of winter.

3. Sowing lawns is easier now that there's some rain

Grass seed varieties germinate quickly and lawns put on strong growth that can sustain them through winter. Fertilising lawns allows them to build resilience ahead of winter. Apply Prolawn Lawn Booster to your lawn and water in. And it’s the last chance to sow or patch a lawn.

4. Sow broad beans around ANZAC Day

Even small gardens can fit a crop of the dwarf variety and in late August their flowers attract the bees back to the garden. Sow carrots, parsnip and beetroot for a supply of root vegetables in late winter. 

 
Broadbean plants

April in the Ornamental Garden:

Trees

The soil is still warm and there’s moisture in it, so it’s the ideal time to plant shrubs and trees.

Flowers

Garden pretties: Sow cornflower, dianthus, nigella, poppy, and sweet pea seeds.

Plant tulips, narcissi and hyacinths in pots and garden beds. Place pots in semi-shaded areas until the bulbs shoot.

Propagate cuttings of your favourite geraniums, fuchsias, lavender and rosemary – more free plants next spring.

Hedges

Plant a hedge of sasanqua camellias – these early-flowering varieties avoid the petal blight of late-season ones.

Trim buxus and other formal hedge types and apply compost around the root zone.

 

April in the Fruit and Vegetable Garden 

Vegetables

Hardy brassicas can go in now: broccoli, cabbage and bok choy plus grow carrots, beetroot and silverbeet.

Celery is one crop that can be picked by the stalk through winter – it gives winter comfort dishes some extra flavour.

Sow carrots, parsnip and beetroot for a supply of root vegetables in late winter. 

Salads & Herbs

Keep the winter salads going with cold hardy lettuce varieties like Cos, Iceberg, the French Merveille des Quatre saisons, and spinach (for baby leaves).

Plant winter herbs: thyme, winter savory, bay trees, rosemary and plenty of parsley.

Sowing successive crops of rocket makes a good standby for veg in winter. Rocket is delicious stirred through roasted vegetables with dressing. 

 
Rocket Salad plant

 

Plant Protection 

Control snails, they’re loving the new seedlings in the vegetable garden. Organic remedies include a dish of beer, or hunting them down after dark by the light of the phone. When all else fails use slug bait.

 
Compost

 

Building up good soil

After summer crops have been removed, add back the goodies to sustain the winter veg - dig in compost, and add extra nutrients such as sheep pellets. And add some muscle with our favourite Soil and Plant conditioner - ground mussel shells (excuse the pun)

Seeding for free

Take a look through the vegetable garden - small seedlings of herbs such as dill, parsley and coriander may have seeded, offering free plants to flavour the autumn cooking.   

Autumn fruiting

Tamarillos and citrus (lemons, mandarins, oranges) ripen over winter, so give them a dose of liquid fertiliser now, such as Aquaticus organic Garden Booster.  

 

April Lawn Care

Lawns from sow to grow  

Sow - layer on some Premium lawn Soil, add some grass seed and sprinkle on Lawn Starter.

Fertilise -  Apply ProLawn Lawn Booster to your lawn and water in. This allows it to build resilience ahead of winter.

Good germination - in autumn the fastest germinating lawn seed varieties are Tournament Blend (tough, yet beautiful), Tall Fescue (tolerates some shade) and Classic Rye (hard-wearing and drought resistant). 

 
Tournament Blend grass seed

 

Plants & Shrubs

Cut back finished perennials and lay compost around them once they’re fully dormant, they can be lifted and divided to make more plants.

Tall perennial grasses offer excellent autumn displays of flowering plumes and seedheads. Most can be left until August to provide winter interest too.

Seek out some tough shrubs for planting if you have a windy, clay site. Australian westringias, coleonema varieties and raphiolepis (Indian Hawthorn) are very hard to kill!

Roses are past their peak and should be left to drop leaves for pruning in July. If they have developed scale, spray with Conqueror Oil.

Tidy up the spent foliage of NZ renga renga lilies and daylilies. Trim lavenders and hebes.

 

Landscape Project Ideas for April

Plant a tree or a hedge

Autumn is nature’s BEST planting time. It’s perfect for establishing big trees, planting hedges or starting a new vegetable or flower bed.

Stock up on firewood

ECO Hot Mix, a mix of fast and slow-burning wood, is recommended for all types of open fireplaces. Cosy. 

Concrete projects: paths, pads, pavers and posts

Get concreting while autumn offers up warm, dry weather. Lay a path or driveway, construct the base for a shed or cement posts ready for a fencing project. We recommend 5 x 40kg bags of cement to 1 cubic metre of Builder's Mix.

 

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