Gardening in April

Starke Ayres shares a few tips on gardening this month. Follow them on social media over the next 16 days to get an activity a day to do with the kids or yourself during this quiet time.

• How about planting some winter veggies like broccoli, broad beans, peas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, onions and turnips. Our sales teams are still operating Nationwide to ensure that we still have access to seeds during the lockdown. On your weekly trip to your nearest chain store, pick up some seeds and get the kids to assist with planting, watering and caring for the seeds.

• Sweep dry autumn leaves and garden clippings directly on to the shrub and flower beds as a mulch. Nature will decompose the organic matter as it does in a forest.

• Split your Clivias every 3-5 years to ensure that they don’t become root bound. When dividing Clivias try and keep them in clumps of 3-5 rhizomes. This will ensure that they flower the following year. Only divide or transplant Clivias after flowering. Now is a good time and at the same time you will get a good workout. Feed and water after transplanting with Bounce Back or Talborne 6:3:4.

• Winter bulbs should be available from the end of April. Plant Freesias to the ever-showy Daffodils, Ranunculus, Dutch Iris and Anemone.

• Feed citrus trees with Magnesium Sulphate and a healthy dose of Talborne 3:1:5. Signs of the leaves turning yellow is normally diagnosed as a lack of Micro-elements. Apply Trelmix either as a foliar feed or soil drench to plants to correct the imbalance.

• Towards the end of the month when we are back in operation, start reviving your lawn by removing all dead leaves and applying a thin layer of Lawn Dressing. Plan for those moments when we get that occasional rain and have your organic 2:3:2 ready. Feeding before winter will strengthen the roots and will promote root growth during autumn.

• April is normally the start of the onslaught of snails. Snails love the youngest, tender leaves on your new plantings, so remember to scatter some Organic Biogrow Ferramol snail pellets around your vegetable seedlings.

• Now is an excellent time to provide nesting, resting, feeding and breeding sites for birds in your garden. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature’s menu. Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear (Leonotis spp.) and red-hot pokers (spp.) will attract nectar-feeding birds such as the sunbird. Seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses and grains. Plant patches of mixed birdseed and you’ll be fascinated to see the response from local birds.

• Now that it has cooled down this is the ideal time to replant hanging baskets.

Starke Ayres, West Coast Village Shopping Centre
Tel: 021 554 8450/1