Five Garden Jobs for April

April is perhaps the first month when it’s both warm enough and light enough to think about pottering in the garden in the evening.  This means you can more easily keep on top of those little jobs, like dead-heading or topping up your bird feeders, as you go.  And there are certainly plenty of jobs you can be doing in your garden in April; here’s our reminder!

Instant colourpolyanthus

Enjoy some instant colour by planting up things like polyanthus or primulas in pots or at the front of your borders.  They will give added spring verve to your garden and help to fill in that gap between early spring bulbs and later ones, like tulips.

You can also think about planting up hanging baskets and pots with summer bedding plants too now. We’d recommend a mix of plants that will keep you blooming right through the season (as well as providing more variety for insects).  Just make sure you keep them inside or carefully protected until we are well clear of any frosts.

Sow and plant outcoriander

April starts to be warm enough to think about planting some seeds outside, straight into their growing position.  Sunflower seeds, herbs like coriander and parsley, fast-growing crops (like radishes) or even microgreens should all start to geminate now if sown in a sunny spot (or pot) outside.  Just ensure the soil is not too water-logged as this tends to mean the soil temperature is still a little too low for success.

Hopefully the seeds you have sown previously are sprouting well and ready to be potted on.  If your seedlings have been grown indoors so far, think about acclimatising them to their planting position gradually if you can; a spell in an unheated greenhouse or under a cloche will help harden off anything that is ultimately going to be planted outside.

Pest Patrolslug patrol

As the plants wake up, of course, so do the pests that like to eat them so now is the time to think about protecting your tender shoots from their jaws.  Of course, we’d recommend a non-chemical route if you possibly can, in order to protect the other animals (and humans) who use your garden.  Picking off slugs, snails or beetles can be really effective (if you can bring yourself to do it!), while a solution of soapy water works to deter most aphids.  Maintaining good plant hygiene (removing dead or diseased material and ensuring plants get plenty of air) is also a great deterrent to anything that likes to hide in dark corners.

We love this article from Garden Organic about common garden pests and diseases and how to tackle them in the most garden-friendly way: https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/pests-and-diseases

clumpsDevide and conquer

Now is a great time to reinvigorate established clumps of plants by digging them up and dividing them. This works well for hardy perennials, such as asters, daylilies or hostas, as well as hardy herbs, like chives or lemon balm.

Dig up the entire clump as one and lift it out on to a firm surface.  Depending on how large the clump is, you may get several smaller clumps so look for natural division points that will leave you both healthy foliage and strong roots on each smaller clump.  Depending on the nature of the root ball, you may find that two garden forks inserted back-to-back and then wiggled apart will be enough to separate out the clumps.  If not, a sharp garden spade inserted firmly will cut through it.  Although this looks like a serious operation, at this time of year, plants generally respond well to firm treatment and it will spur them into more vigorous growth.

Plant one of the clumps back into the original hole, watering in well, and then you have more plants to pot up or give away as you please!

Indoor gardeninghouseplant

It’s not just the plants in our gardens that will be growing well by now but also anything indoors or in our greenhouses.

Houseplants generally will benefit from more regular watering from now until the autumn. If they have been in the same pot and soil for a while, they will probably also enjoy some additional feeding too.  There are, of course, many plant foods available (and we have a choice in stock at our Titchfield Centre) but there are also some home-made options too.  Things like crushed eggs shells, cooled vegetable cooking water and coffee grounds will all enrich the soil.  We love this blog from Urban Garden Gal for plenty of DIY suggestions:

https://www.urbangardengal.com/natural-fertilizers-houseplants/

Time also to think about ventilation.  On fine days, open windows (including greenhouse vents and doors) to ensure your plants have plenty of fresh air.  If it’s a sunny day, perhaps think about moving your houseplants outside for a few hours too; they’ll love it! Just be careful of scorching.

Testimonials

Hambrooks

Testimonials

N. Haggard 20 September 2022

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how delighted I am with my new garden.

Jon, my designer, listened to my ideas and delivered on everything I asked for. I wanted something different to any garden I’d had before, no lawn, no landscaping but packed with plants. He designed such a lovely secret garden, around a statement tree. And I have to commend him for his unwavering patience! I changed my mind a hundred times but never did he give me the impression that he was losing patience with my endless indecision. And my confidence in him led me to place an order for over £10k.

My landscaping team, Blade and Tony, were exceptional, from their work ethic, skill and knowledge, to the way they dealt with me, the customer. My standards are very high and I couldn’t fault them.

All in all, a very professional team of people. And it showed that they all care. I’m over the moon with the finished result. I will send you a before and after photo. Thank you so much.

A delighted customer.

G. Gray. May 2022

My front garden has been transformed by Andy and Bradley who both worked incredibly hard and I am delighted with the result. Andy had the vision and skill to turn my idea into reality and I can't thank him enough.

C. Haig Sept 2021

We recently had our garden landscaped by Hambrooks and I just wanted to pass on my thanks, not just for the outcome - which is superb - but for the professionalism of all the staff involved on the job who are all a credit to you company. Mike, Dave, Les and Adam.

H. Sharp Sept 2021

I just wanted to let you know how delighted I am with my new garden. Melanie was a delight to work with and the ideas she had have worked perfectly. Also Sheldon laid the patio beautifully and him and Dave were a pleaseure to have at my house. Quiet workers and polite.

B. Rendell April 2021

I would like to say how delighted we are with the work carried out. Mel, Paul and Tony all worked very hard, they totally took on board the specific need relating to safety as well as the general garden issues. Paul and Tony were excellent at consulting and discussing with me what I felt best in terms of the brief and adjusting if and as necessary, constantly pleasant and polite to deal with. Mel had picked up on particular issues from the first consultation and offered valuable advice. The outcome means a great deal less worry for me going forward.
Altogether a very positive experience and outcome which I would not hesitate to recommend to others.

Stephen March 2021

Dom and Adam's work (garden maintenance) is greatly appreciated. Dom really listened to everything we discussed very carefully and went out of his way to understand and then act upon that discussion. We are extremely pleased with the work done - both to the pond and pyracantha.

Marsha

We have been coming to Hambrooks for years and it's our favourite garden centre because of its friendly helpful staff and a great selection of plants and trees and the garden design ideas.

“We wanted to write and say how pleased we are with our low maintenance garden makeover. We are very impressed with the attitude of your staff who were prepared to listen to our requirements. Your team John and Rick brushed up and left everything tidy at the end of the day. We now have a garden we can manage and it looks great. THANK YOU HAMBROOKS.”

Mr & Mrs Venables, Southampton. April 2019

“Dear Josh & Mike We just want to say you both did a brilliant job of designing our garden along with the guys who did the work who were amazing. A few weeks on its looks even better now some of the plants are blooming. Thank you!!”

Mr & Mrs Gazzard, Winchester July 2019

“To James, John & Rikki. Thank you so much, we are delighted with our new garden. We really appreciate the attention to detail, the high quality workmanship and the standard of the finished project. We are amazed at how John & Rikki resolved the difficulties of the site and by the quality of their craftmanship. It was a pleasure to work with them and thank you for making our ideas into something we will enjoy for years to come.”
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