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The end of summer is drawing near, but the late summer garden still has plenty to keep the boredom at bay. Follow these tips and pointers to help your garden look its best this April.

Plant and Sow

Annuals:

  • Regions that are frost free can sow the following seeds in trays:

Arctotis acaulis, Calendula officinalis, Chrysanthemum species,

Consolida ambigua, Dorotheanthus bellidiformis,

Felicia bergiana, Lathyrus odoratus, Linaria maroccana

Nemesia, Schizanthus, Viola

  • Remember to sow sweet peas during the month and prepare the soil at least a week ahead by working in some well-rotted compost and a handful or two of bone meal per square meter. Also erect a support structure prior to sowing to avoid later inconvenience
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs:

Anemone coronariaDaffodils, Ranunculus, Bluebells 

Plant Alyssum and Amaranthus in frost free regions.

In dry continental and summer rainfall regions you can plant the following:

Antirrhinum, Arctotis, Calendula, Candytuft, Cinerarias,

Cornflower, Eschscholzia, Larkspur,

LinariaPansy, Petunia

Salvia, Schizanthus, Sweet peas, Viola, Wallflower

Plant seedlings such as Phlox and Primula.

Herbs and Vegetables 

  • Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, braod beans, kale, carrot and beetroot.
  • Continue sowing salad crops, remember to sow in regular successions to ensure they mature in accordance with harvesting requirements.

Shrubs and Perennials

  • All of these perennials can be planted in April:

AgapanthusAlstromeriaAustralian violet,

CrocosmiaGloriosa daisiesHemerocallis

Strelitzia

Trees and shrubs

April is the month fro planting trees and shrubs. Mix in compost and a handful of bone meal and water well.

General Garden Maintenance 
  • Feed pelargoniums and spray against rust where necessary.
  • Lift and divide white arum lilies and irises after they have finished flowering.
  • Feed the lawn and mow if needed.
  • Fertilize roses and prune them lightly for lovely autumn blooms.
  • Spray regularly against black spot and mildew.
  • Control ants, as they introduce aphids and scale to your plants.
  • Make cuttings of Azaleas, Fuchsias, Hibiscus, Camellias and Impatiens.
  • Finish planting Nerine bulbs.
  • Annuals, Roses, and perennials like geraniums, daisy bushes and lavender need to be dead headed regularly to promote growth and encourage flowering.
  • Phlox and Catmint also respond well to deadheading. 
  • Remember to de-bud Dahlias at regular intervals.
  • Hedges, standards or “lollypops”, screens and topiaries need to be pruned regularly to keep them neat and in shape.
  • Ensure Chrysanthemums well supported and feed them every second week with a water soluble fertilizer.
  • Fertilize and water PelargoniumsCannasGladiolus and Dahlia well and repeat feeding every second week or so.
  • Prune Acanthus mollis down to ground level and mulch well.
  • Check Dahlias and Hydrangeas for red spider mite.
  • Arum liliys, Irisis and Cannas can still be divided and re planted this month.
  • Tip and semi-hardwood cuttings can be made from the spring growth of Rhododendrons (Azalias) and Camellias.
  • Start watering Camellias well and mulch around but not against the stems.
  • Spray grapes for mildew if necessary.
  • Water Strawberries, Mulberries, Guavas, Pawpaws, and Citrus well.
Watering
  • Water all trees well once a month during dry weather and trim any branches that have been broken by wind or hail.
  • Continue to feed annuals with a liquid fertilizer every second week.
  • Water the entire garden well during dry periods and pay special attention to the roses, water them nice and deep at least once a week.
  • To minimise your gardens water requirements:
    • Refrain from watering during mid-day. 
    • Water thoroughly and deep at less frequent intervals rather than a quick splash on a more regular basis.
    • Though it is often tempting remember not to turn or “cultivate” the soil as this invites evaporation and stimulates weed seed germination.
    • Consider putting up a rain water tank this rain season, as a wide variety of vegetables and container grown plants give best results if watered with rainwater.
    • Keep the garden well mulched.
Lawn
  • Mow if needed and water once a month.
  • Feeding is no longer needed
  • Protect the roots from burn by raising the mower blades.
Weeds
  • Remove weeds from the lawn by applying a broad-leaf weed-killer, weeds in the garden bed are best removed by hand before they flower and set seed.
  • Treat weeds in the driveway and paving with boiling water on a hot day, remove them by hand make use of a number of no- selective weed-killers available on the market. – avoid spraying on windy days and strictly follow dosage and package instructions.
  • Minimise weeds by applying mulch and weed guard or landscape fabric and refrain from turning or “cultivating” the soil.​
Pests and Diseases
  • Spray regularly where necessary to keep the garden free of pests. – There are a number of organic products and remedies available.

Another thank you to Life is a garden. Visit them here.



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