April in the garden

Our gardening guru Laura Allison is back with topical tips for the garden this month.


April is here at last. The days are officially longer, the rain will hopefully stay away and it's time to get out into the garden.


* Sow lettuce, beetroot and other hardy crops in seed trays ready to plant out when the ground warms up.

* It's time to finally plant seed potatoes. 1st and 2nd earlies can be planted in pots and in the ground and you can also plant maincrops in the ground.

* Plant out hardy herbs such as Santolina and bay to encourage new growth and side shoots.

* If buying fruit trees and a peach takes your fancy they can be grown quite successfully in the Scottish Borders. There is a flowering variety called Rochester (£60 at Woodside) which survives frosts and fruits readily, but it does need a south-facing, sheltered wall.

* Prune early flowering shrubs that have finished flowering such as Forsythia.

* Mulch your flower beds to retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

I have not cut my grass yet but it is nearly time. Start with a reasonably high cut to avoid stressing the grass. Feed with a seaweed fertiliser which is a good organic alternative to some you will find on the market.

Spring is also the time to scarify your grass to get rid of moss.

As always, there are many more tasks to be done at this time of the month. Start off slowly and build up the jobs done, but mostly enjoy your garden.


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