Gardening in April: work on the lawn, terrace and the berries

April is already a strange month.

Gardening in April: work on the lawn, terrace and the berries

April is already a strange month. First you have to be careful not to be taken for a ride. After that the weather takes us on a roller coaster. Most allotment gardeners find their fingers tingling in the first few days and weeks after the change from winter to summer time. Many people have already written down or planned out in their heads which garden tasks absolutely need to be done in April. Maybe we can give everyone else a little help. With the five most important gardening tasks in April.

Regardless of whether it is a play area or a lawn: you have to do something to ensure a healthy lawn. And that takes a little time. In April - depending on the weather - all those troublemakers who deprive the delicate spring stalks of air from breathing should be removed from the greenery. Scarifying is the magic word. Important: Before aeration takes place, the stalks must be supplied with lawn fertilizer and trimmed at least once. Once the meadow has been trimmed short, all that remains is for the weather to cooperate. For effective scarification, the area should be completely dry. Otherwise, when scarifying, you will tear the fresh blades of grass and their roots out of the ground and your dream of an English lawn will be gone. Whether you use an electric device or a battery-powered version when scarifying is a matter of taste. If you want to fine-tune your summer figure, it's best to choose a hand scarifier (e.g. from Gardena).

Savings tip: With a Conrad voucher you can get the Bosch Alliance 18V battery starter set for 80 euros cheaper until the end of May.

While scarifying slightly scratches the turf and removes moss and thatch from the green, aerating gives the lawn grass additional air for healthy growth. So-called nail shoes are best suited for this. So that the rainwater drains away better in the changeable April, some lawn sand can be applied afterwards.

Both the insect hotel and the bumblebee house have been busy since mid-March. All that's missing is the nutrient-rich oasis of well-being for the useful pollen and nectar collectors that are so important for our ecosystem. If you have a heart for animals and still have a little space in your garden, you should create a wildflower meadow there. And that's child's play. First: clear the ground of grasses and wild herbs and loosen it up properly. Second: Get seeds for the flower meadow (e.g. the Little Plants BIO bee pasture) and distribute them generously on the bed. Important: Flower seeds are usually gymnosperms. They need as much light as possible so that they germinate. So only work the seeds very lightly into the soil. Your buzzing guests will thank you.

Sleet, frost and winter storms – terraces and small (wooden) arbors have to take a beating in the garden off-season. Before you make yourself comfortable on the property again, you should assess and repair any possible damage. Wood is a natural material that works constantly. It should be cared for regularly and carefully, otherwise you won't be able to enjoy your decking for very long. Cleaning with a light soapy solution is sufficient in most cases. If the dirt is a little more stubborn, it is best to clean the floorboards with a high or medium pressure cleaner (such as the AquaClean from Gardena). When using a high-pressure cleaner, make sure that the water jet does not hit the wood with full force.

If you want to protect your floorboards from mold or rot, you should care for the wood regularly. April is also the right time for this. The following applies: tropical woods are hard and resilient. That's why they require significantly less care than, for example, larch wood, which fades and "grays" after a short time. If you want to prevent this, treat the floorboards either before laying or in the spring after cleaning with a special terrace or care oil (e.g. larch oil from Osmo). Depending on your taste, you can also use a patio brush to choose wood tones or apply a colorless oil. If the wood has already turned gray, it can be treated with a so-called de-greying agent. Important: Especially with larch wood, you don't have to worry if it turns gray after a few months. Even in gray, the floorboards remain very durable and weatherproof.

Wooden arbors are also constantly exposed to winter storms and rain showers. A visual inspection in the spring doesn't hurt either. The weather side in particular often suffers and loses shine and/or color. To ensure that your arbor survives the next storms unscathed, the wood should also be regularly treated with appropriate glazes. The best way to protect the wood is to first process the top layer with a small sander (e.g. the Mouse KA2000 triangular sander from Black Decker).

In very wet garden years like 2021, raised beds are worth their weight in gold. Annoying snails have to work really hard to get to the heads of lettuce, kohlrabi, carrots or other vegetables. But raised beds (here the Marina model from Stelmet) also have many advantages and are currently very popular with homeowners and allotment gardeners. Practical: The plant boxes made of wood, plastic or steel are usually available as a kit and can be assembled quickly with a little skill. Make sure that the raised bed is at least 80 centimeters high so that you can work on it without making the hump crooked. Important: Line the raised bed on the inner walls with pond or bubble wrap. This will protect it from moisture and rot.

Ideally, you fill a raised bed with four layers. Before nutrient-rich humus soil is added to the bed for the crops, the soil should first be covered with roughly 20 centimeters of coarse branch material. This is followed by two layers of roughly equal thickness of chopped branches and plant residues as well as fresh compost soil. So the rule applies: from airy and nutrient-poor at the bottom to dense and nutrient-rich at the top. For the upper layer, you should use high-quality humus or raised bed soil. The bed for lettuce, carrots

You should also get your hands on the sweet fruits in the garden in April. Or better yet, the canes that are supposed to bear fruit in late summer. Raspberries are high on many children's top berry fruit lists. So that there is something to harvest in the gardening year of 2022, the canes of the summer raspberries in particular should now be shortened to around 1.60 meters. For blackberries, secateurs (e.g. the Bypass model from Gardena) only need to be used on the canes that were removed from the previous year. Here, however, as close to the ground as possible. Afterwards, it's best to treat the berries to a wheelbarrow full of bark mulch. But wait until the April-wet soil has dried out a little.

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