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April is certainly a busy time in the garden. But do take a moment to appreciate your space between jobs. Tulips, aquilegia, dicentra and fritilarias all make a fabulous display so be sure to stop and admire them. Just be aware as things warm up, greenfly can quickly multiply on the lovely new growth of roses. Use the jet on your hose to blast the little beggars off. If you haven't already there is still time to prune and tidy roses, removing any dead or crossing branches and always prune at an outward facing bud. Apply a generous feed of well-rotted manure and blood fish and bone to these hungry shrubs.

It’s an ideal time to move that plant that isn't faring well. The soil is warming up and this will benefit root growth and establishment. Remember to apply a good mulch of organic material around the base of the plant. This will feed the plant throughout the season, keep weeds down and retain moisture.

Be sure to clear any dead material from last year's perennials as new shoots begin to emerge. Certain herbaceous plants (peony, delphinum, asters) require support and now is a good time to put this in place before things really take off

Plant up dahlia tubers now in pots to give them a bit of a head start before planting them out into the garden. You can do this with most summer flowering bulbs, especially if you're not yet sure about where you'd like to plant them. Place them in a sheltered spot, glasshouse or porch. Keep an eye out for slugs as they love to munch on the new growth of dahlias, lupins and delphiniums to name but a few! Apply an organic or pet and bird friendly slug deterrent. Call in store to see our range and for more tips on how to protect slug-prone plants from being demolished.

There's still plenty time this month to get your veg garden underway. There is nothing more satisfying and more importantly delicious than growing your own food. For beginners a) choose veg that you enjoy eating and b) veg that’s easy to grow such as tomatoes, lettuce and herbs. If you’re worried about starting from seed, don’t be! We have lots of fruit and veg plants ready to go. And plenty advice on how to get the best out of each one. As your confidence grows you'll be producing prize winning carrots and cucumbers in no time!


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