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April Garden Checklist

April Garden Checklist

Immerse yourself in the joy of gardening with our checklist of activities guaranteed to lower your stress levels and uplift your mood. What better way to kick off a new month than by tending to your garden?

Dig into these tasks and watch your garden overflow with beauty:

  • Prune your dahlias 
  • Lift or divide specific bulbs
  • Plant winter bulbs
  • Add layers of annuals and perennials
  • Sow vegetable seeds
  • Replenish bird feeders

Prune your dahlias 

So your dahlia are still strutting their stuff, but need a little help to keep their heads held high. Enter stage left: pruning. No need to be delicate about it, just snip off about a third of their glory. This ensures they don't end up flopping over like they've had one too many cosmos at the flower party. If your dahlias still seem a bit wobbly, it's time for the ultimate support act: staking. Think of it as giving your plants their own little entourage to prop them up and make sure they're always reaching for the stars...or at least the sun. Now, I know what you're thinking, "But isn't it too late to stake them?" Fear not, my green-thumbed friend! Dahlias are like the Energizer bunnies of the flower world; they just keep going and going. Prune and stake them up now, and they'll keep strutting their stuff well into late autumn, maybe even winter, depending on when they made their grand entrance into your garden.

Now, onto the logistics. When selecting stakes, think about the height of your floral superstars. If they're towering over everyone else in the garden, go for stakes that are about three-quarters their height. For those reaching superstar heights of over 2 meters, bring out the big guns: hardwood stakes, plastic-coated steel stakes, or bamboo poles. Just watch out for those skinny bamboo poles; they might just bend like Beckham under all that floral fabulousness. Place the stakes about 10cm away from the centre stem and give them a good shove into the soil.

Lift or divide select bulbs

Gardening's like a treasure hunt, but with bulbs! This month, it's time to unearth some floral gems. Get your spades ready because we're about to dig up a garden full of surprises! It's like Christmas morning, but instead of presents, we've got bulbs waiting to dazzle us in spring. Let's get digging!

  • Summer growing Cyrtanthus - C. galpinii (fire lily) and common hybrids. It is recommended that you only lift if you need to relocate your plants.
  • Lift and divide Louisiana iris clumps when they become overcrowded. This is usually every 3 – 4 years. You can discard the ‘old’ rhizomes that show no growth.
  • If you have had your Kniphofia (red hot poker) for four years or more you can lift and divide them. This applies to the winter-flowering species: K. rooperi, K. sarmentosa, and K. uvaria. You should cut the foliage back by two thirds and replant immediately. Replenish your soil with compost and manure. 
  • Dietes rhizomes can be lifted and divided now. They should be replanted immediately and receive a good soaking. It is recommended that you cut the leaves back by half to reduce moisture loss while the roots recover. 

Plant winter bulbs 

Now that summer is rolling out and the cool weather is rolling in, you can get down on it, and do a little dance because you can start planting your winter bulbs. It’s the month avid gardeners look forward to most, when they can get their favourite spring bloomers into the ground and watch the joy unfold. There are bulbs for every gardener and they’re all easy peasy to grow. We have a variety of local lovelies for the indigenous gardener to choose from and in all colours of the rainbow. The more adventurous gardener may want to grow something exotic, like Allium or daffodils. Purely, for their gorgeous blooms. Conversely, those with a passion for culinary gardening might be eager to cultivate their own garlic and onions, perfect for enhancing their homemade dishes. Regardless of your preference, whether buying them from a store or already possessing them, now is the ideal time to plant them, following the instructions provided on the packaging.

Layer with annuals and perennials 

Sure, it will be some time before your bountiful bulbs come into bloom, but until then you can keep them company with an array of annuals and a plethora of perennials to liven up your pots and beds. Not only do these plants add vibrant colour, but some can also serve as a living mulch, providing continuous beauty for the price of one.

Head to your local garden centre or nursery and stock up on some colourful plants to bring life to your ever-changing garden. Here are some flowery ideas to incorporate into your garden this month:

  • Pansies
    • Viola
    • Poppies 
    • Allysum 
    • Stocks
    • Snapdragons 

        Sow vegetable seeds

        The most fulfilling feeling is picking your own veggies that you have grown organically. Here’s what you can grow in your edible garden this month:

        • Beans (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Beetroot (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West)
        • Brinjal / aubergine (Eastern Cape)
        • Cabbage (Eastern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Carrot (Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Celery (Western Cape)
        • Cucumber (Eastern Cape)
        • Lettuce (Northern Cape, Western Cape) 
        • Onion (Northern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Parsnip (Eastern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Peas (Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal)
        • Peppers (Eastern Cape)
        • Potatoes (Eastern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Pumpkin (Eastern Cape)
        • Radish (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape)
        • Spinach (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape)  
        • Swiss chard (Free State)
        • Tomato (Eastern Cape)

        Replenish bird feeders 

        If you have bird feeders in your garden, refill them with bird seed and a variety of cut-up fruits like bananas, berries, apples, pears, papaya, and other soft fruits. Birds don’t find food as easily in the colder months, further reason to help keep these precious creatures full and flying. If you don't already have bird feeders, consider investing in one or two to attract more wildlife to your garden. The delightful melodies of singing birds will enrich your garden landscape and enhance its biodiversity.

        There you have it—a comprehensive checklist to inspire your gardening endeavours this month, ensuring that your garden remains as beautiful now as it will be in spring!

        Happy planting!

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