Paraic’s Tips For Your Garden In April

“Warmer temperatures, longer evenings and more daylight than darkness in the day help to create the perfect conditions for gardening this April.”Paraic Horkan

April is finally here and the clocks have gone forward. As a result, we have an extra hour of gardening time to play with in the evening. This time is the perfect time to get started on the many spring gardening projects I have selected for your garden in April.

Lawn Care

April is the ideal time to sow a new lawn or repair damaged areas in your existing lawn. Simply rake the area to scuffle the soil, add some Osmo Fertiliser and sow a handful of Green Velvet Lawn Seed to the area. Lawns sown during April will flourish into a strong, lush, green lawn by mid summer.

Now is also the time to take some simple steps to ensure your lawn is a rich, green lawn. The first step in creating a rich green lawn is to apply a dressing of Zero Lawn Liquid using a watering can or sprayer. Zero will treat unwanted lawn moss overnight. Next, apply a dressing of Osmo Moss Remover. This feeds your lawn and prompts a rich green colour, without forcing growth. Finally, kill lawn weeds with a dressing of Dicophar Selective Weedkiller. For further information, check out our detailed guide here.

3 Step Lawn Care Program

Garden Colour

As April settles its head and the soil is warming and drying out, it is in perfect condition for planting. Now is the time to think ahead for summer and start preparing your hanging baskets, window and patio boxes.

  • Red Geraniums are one of the very best summer flowering plants to add colour and interest. Trailing Petunias, White Bacopa, Osteospermum and Trailing Lobelia are also favourites for hanging baskets, window and patio boxes. 
Trailing Petunia
Osteospermum
  • Many of the summer flowering border plants can be sown from seed. Easy Flowers  are ideal for such direct sowing. Simply rake the soil, add some compost and sprinkle the seed onto virgin soil. Easy Flowers are ideal for adding a blaze of summer colour to flower borders, patio pots, containers and in between shrubs.
  • Scented sweet peas produce highly scented flowers. They can be planted now to blossom in midsummer. If you cut scented sweet peas regularly, you will be rewarded with lots of fresh blooms for your home through summer and autumn.
  • The Snowy Mespilus, Forsythia and Blue Campanula are all beautiful spring flowering plants. They offer a stunning show of colour and are an ideal spring time plant.

Sow and Grow

  • If you haven’t already, April is the perfect time to plant new potatoes. First early varieties, including Orla, Colleen and Red Duke of York, can be planted now outdoors in raised beds, patio pots or directly into the garden soil. They will provide you with tasty, homegrown, new potatoes in early summer. They are easy to grow, full of flavour and the perfect ‘first plant’ for you to plant now.
  • April is the perfect time to have a go at growing your five a day – fruits, vegetables, salad plants and kitchen herbs. This spring it’s easier than ever with the brilliant Vegepod. The Vegepod is a garden product, like no other in Ireland! It is a self contained, raised garden bed that is the perfect solution for anyone interested in growing their own organic fruit and vegetables. The Vegepod is a modular vegetable garden that is self-watering, protected and perfectly sized for every home. You just sow the vegetables, fruit or herbs you want to grow, shut the protective cover and the Vegepod does the rest, even the watering! Plants grow 50% faster, watering is reduced by 80% and the children are 100% happy growing their five a day.
  • Suttons Seed Tapes make life incredibly easy in the vegetable garden. Suttons selected a range of vegetable and herb seeds and placed them in a special tape. The seeds are perfectly spaced for easy planting and growing. Better yet, the vegetable seed tapes are biodegradable so they will not cause any damage to the plant or environment. They are available online here.
  • Suttons also have an incredible range known as Speedy Veg, new to Horkans this spring. As the name suggests speedy veg grow very quickly and are ready in 4 – 5 weeks to harvest. They are sown from seed in your window boxes, patio containers or Vegepod rewarding you with lots of fresh salad leaves and vegetables in a very short period. They are ideal for sowing from April to September.

Party Time

Communions and Confirmations are a key celebration for many families during April and May. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to celebrate then I have just the solution for you. What better way to celebrate than by hosting a garden BBQ? It is an easy way to host a lavish celebration for all of your friends and family, in an affordable way. Better yet, you will have your BBQ for years to come so it’s an investment you wont regret making. 

Char-Broil Professional 4400 Barbecue

Here at Horkans we have some quality gas barbecues on offer. One of my favourites is the Char-Broil Big Easy Smoker. This attractive barbecue is durable, rust-resistant and easy to clean. It will roast up to 11kg, roast or poultry, and can also be used as a traditional BBQ for cooking in the garden.

This Char-Broil BBQ guarantees up to 50% juicer food every time, using 30% less gas than standard BBQ’s. It is ideal for cooking and smoking a wide variety of home cooked dishes, for all those special family occasions.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Walt Disney

Dream Garden

Do you have a Dream Garden? A vision of what your garden could and should look like? Now is the time for your dream to become a reality. With our Dream Garden team you can achieve your gardening dreams. If you are thinking of completing a new garden project this spring, a new hedge, shrub border, pond or a cottage garden border, then email paraic@horkans.com and ask about our Dream Gardening Steps. Our qualified team will help you design your perfect garden project this spring. We can show you some great garden makeovers we have recently completed and give you ideas and help on completing your garden project for spring or summer. If you’re interested in our Dream Garden Design but want to learn more, you can do so here.

April Tip: With all the lovely new growth in the garden in April, don’t forget to protect your plants from slugs and snails. Use Organic Slug Control to effectively protect your fruit and vegetables from slugs.

Not to be missed: Paraic will feature live on Virgin Media Ireland AM on Wednesday April 17th. He joins Pat Kenny on Newstalk FM after 11.30am on Wednesday 1oth April. He is also back with his weekly gardening show on Midwest Radio, every Saturday morning from 9 -10am. Every Sunday morning at 10am, he is on ThatsFarming.com for his new gardening show.