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In the garden: April


Sow sweet pea seeds in pots or garden beds and provide a teepee of stakes for support. For an award- winning display, follow Colin Barlow’s tips in our Garden Clinic Autumn 2022 Magazine on page 22.

When planting garlic, there is no need to go too deep. Choose a sunny, well-drained spot and enrich with compost. Separate the garlic cloves - don't remove the skin - before planting and push them into the ground, ensuring the tops of the clove are just below the soil surface. Harvest in 6-8 months.

Collect autumn leaves to make a nutritious leaf mulch for the garden. Fill a hessian bag with leaves and add a handful of blood and bone. Moisten the mix, tie it off and leave it to sit for 5-6 months. To help them break down faster, run a mower over the leaves before adding to the bag.

Divide clumps of gaura, perennial salvias, liriope, agapanthus, kangaroo paw, and clivia. Dig up, divide, soak in seaweed solution, prune off leaves, then replant or share excess with friends.

Choose autumn foliage plants while they are showing off their best colours. Look for shrubs, perennials and climbers if you can’t commit to trees.

Snails and slugs love cool, moist conditions, and can completely decimate large leaved plants like hostas, acanthus, and leafy vegies. Control them with eco-shield, a certified organic, iron- based pellet that will help treat slaters too.

Take cuttings of fuchsia, daisy, lavender, and coleus. Remove lower leaves, dip into hormone gel and insert cuttings into pots filled with moistened propagating mix. Cover with a mini green house to protect cuttings.

Hungry, hungry caterpillars are about and will enjoy making a meal out of your garden. If you find any, remove and squash them or feed them to the birds but if the infestation is severe, consider spraying with an organic insecticide like Dipel.

Repot container plants into larger pots with fresh mix. If you prefer to keep a plant in the same pot, give it a light root prune and place back in the same pot with fresh mix. Water in with a seaweed solution to help reduce transplant shock.

Regularly deadhead dahlia flowers to keep them blooming and looking tidy. You may need to apply an organic snail bait to help control any snails and slugs.

Now is the best time to be planting in the garden. Get trees and shrubs in and established before the cold weather starts. Sandra also shares her top tough favourites for planting now on page 24.

Visit your local nursery to choose and buy roses while they are in bloom. This will give you a better idea of their fragrance too, if any.

Grow strawberries from seeds or propagate from runners. Mulch well as plants grow to keep the fruit off the soil (lessens the chance of rot) or consider growing in pots where the fruit can hang over the edge.

Brighten up the indoors with a mix of indoor foliage plants. Ctenanthe, calatheas, philodendrons and peperomias are highly patterned and will bring lots of visual interest to your home