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freesia bulbs ready for planting

Ah the joys of spring – seedlings bursting forth, bulbs flowering and a cacophony of birdsong – all of which for me tends to bring a mix of heady optimism and mild panic. It’s such a busy time of year –  I always wish April was twice as long! Where to start? Based on past experience (both successes and regrets), here’s my April ‘bucket list’:

Plant summer bulbs – come July and August, I always wish I’d spent just a couple of quid more on these – they’re cheap, easy and guaranteed to brighten up your garden. Now’s the time to get planting lilies, dahlias, gladioli and more (all of which are great for cutting too)

Sow tomatoes (if you haven’t already) – there’s still just time to sow a few tomatoes. You’ll save money and be able to grow exactly which varieties you want.

Start slug control measures – especially around vulnerable plants like hostas and asparagus. Slugs become active as soon as the weather warms up, so now’s the time. If you can get their numbers down before they breed, then that’s half the battle won. For further advice see blog posts here and here.

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Get ground elder while it’s still small

Root around your borders – same principle as for slugs: now is the perfect time to start having a go at weeds – you’ll be able to see where they are, but they won’t have grown enough to start causing problems. Ridding the plot of ground elder (it’s now my 4th year on the allotment) is my goal in life at the minute!

Spread a little love. Give your hard-working beds and borders – not to mention the vegetable plot – a dose of slow-release fertiliser. I generally prefer organic slow release feeds for the open garden, and chemical ones like Osmocote for pots and baskets. An application of these now will give you abundant flowers and fruits throughout the growing season.

 

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