Tips and News

In the Garden this Month – April by Hazel King

Leaves of deciduous trees have begun turning colour making it a wonderful time in the gardens and streets of the Berry district; a time to admire and a time to make choices for your garden.  So check nursery catalogues and order for winter planting.

Rake up fallen leaves, add to garden beds, put into compost bins or bag for future use.

Another serious temptation; rose catalogues.  Each year breeders release new roses, names and descriptions too attractive to resist.

Time to think about spring flowering bulbs.  Most can be planted in April, those from cold climates, tulips, hyacinths and many daffodils, are best left to May planting; leave these bulbs in paper bags in the crisper section of a refrigerator.  Prepare soil now, add compost, and dig in thoroughly.

Prepare the vegetable garden ready for winter crops.  Remove spent crops, and if disease or pest free, then add to compost.

Sow seeds in trays.  You may have noted a return to favour of some ‘old fashioned’ root vegetables, parsnip, turnip.  These are great additions to winter soups.

Check pests or diseases on fruit trees.  Citrus leaf miner affects new shoots, its presence is indicated by wavy cream lines in leaves.  Spray with pest oil, this disturbs the moth’s lifecycle.  Avoid spraying when sun on tree.

Last opportunity to fertilise lawns: water well after application.

Seeds of winter flowering annuals can be planted now…primula, polyanthus, cineraria.

Tibouchinas are vying for attention in Berry, the colour purple cannot be ignored.  There are pink specimens too and a variety with both pink and white flowers.

Japanese wind flowers, Anemone huphensis, are blooming profusely at present, white, pale and dark pink.

Many gardeners have been planting Flanders Poppies to commemorate Anzac Day.  This poppy Papaver rhoeas, called Red Corn Poppy is associated with the battlefields of Belgium and France in WW1.  Grow from seed direct to the ground, does not transplant well. HK

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