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The warm spring sun and the cheerful chirping of birds announce the arrival of spring. Outside, everything is blooming, greening and sprouting. This improves the mood abruptly, but also gives a lot to do. With our tips, you can get your balcony, garden or terrace in shape in time to enjoy spring and your time outside. But pay attention to the temperatures, in April frost and heavy rain showers are possible, which endanger your sowing, young plants and seedlings.
After a long winter, your lawn needs a spring treatment before the growing season. Rake it and remove dead grass, leaf debris or twigs, loosen compacted areas and mow the grass for the first time. After you dethatch the lawn, lime mossy areas and repair bare spots with new seed. If you did not fertilize your lawn in March, you should fertilize it no later than after the first cut in April. Water your lawn adequately if there is no or too little rain, and remove weeds regularly. Depending on the growth, you should mow the lawn about once a week from now on.
Trees, flowers, perennials and shrubs - now there is plenty to do in your ornamental garden. In April, you can sow and plant a lot:
Indoors, in the warmth, you can now pre-pull frost-sensitive ornamental plants and plant them after the icemen, that is, from mid-May. For example, dahlias, levkojen or summer asters. If you want to please bees, butterflies or other beneficial insects, plant true mountain mint, Carthusian carnations, musk mallow, oxeye or velvet carnations in April.
Remove winter protection, but protect cold-sensitive new plants from frost with fleece. Fertilize all plants, especially flowering ornamentals such as rhododendrons, roses or perennials, preferably with an organic fertilizer such as horn meal. Remove faded flowers from early-blooming plants and thin out shrubs that bloom in the spring after flowering. You can prune boxwoods and other hedges until mid-year, but radical pruning is prohibited (because of wildlife). You should do it now if you have not yet pruned your roses.
If you have not yet prepared the vegetable garden for spring in March, now is high time. Rake all dried and frost-free beds, loosen the soil superficially, remove the weeds and fertilize the beds with mature and screened or well-stored manure. Allow two weeks for the soil to settle. After that, the vegetable garden really takes off. Now you can sow almost anything from A for artichokes to Z for onions in the open. For example:
Heat-loving plants such as hot peppers or tomatoes should only be planted in raised beds. For eggplants, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, runner and bush beans, zucchini and sweet corn, it is probably still too cold outside in April, especially at night. That's why you should preplant them indoors or in a greenhouse before transplanting them outdoors after the Ice Saints.
After sowing, cover the beds with perforated film, protective film or fleece so that the vegetables germinate and grow faster. And ventilate foil tunnels, cold frames or greenhouses regularly so that the heat does not accumulate. You should also protect your vegetables. With culture protection nets from aphids, earth fleas, vegetable fly larvae or other pests and with slug barriers or fences from slugs.
Depending on the weather, you can soon harvest the first vegetables of the year. For example, leeks, asparagus or spinach in the open ground and lettuce, sweet lettuce or radishes in the raised bed or greenhouse.
Until the end of April, you can still find bare-root plants in garden centers and nurseries, after that only containerized plants. You should plant cold-sensitive fruit varieties now, so that they have enough time to form strong roots until winter. For example:
A layer or disk of mulch around freshly planted fruit trees and shrubs keeps moisture in the soil and suppresses weed growth. Tie young trees to a stake to protect their still weak roots when there are strong winds.
You should fertilize berry bushes and fruit trees every few years with mature compost, well-stored manure or fruit or berry fertilizer. If you discover frost cracking on a fruit tree, you should seal the cracks in the bark with a wound sealant. Inspect the trees and shrubs, look for diseases such as powdery mildew or scab fungus and treat infested plants immediately.
You also have a lot of work waiting for you in the herb garden. Rejuvenate herbs that become woody and cut them back to five to ten centimeters above ground. You should cut back very tall herbs to about half. But for rosemary, cut only the tips of the shoots.
Now you can plant many herbs on the balcony, garden or terrace in beds or pots. Among other things:
Heat-loving herbs should not be placed outside or transplanted until it stops freezing at night. For example:
Put out potted plants such as fuchsias or geraniums, as well as citrus plants that have wintered indoors, as soon as the danger of frost has passed. Cut back excessively long shoots of citrus plants that cross or grow inward. You should also cut back potted roses. Repot older roses the same way you repot all container plants once the container is full of roots, and fertilize the plants.
In April, it's time to plant early blooming flowers and perennials in window boxes and pots and place them on the balcony or patio. For example:
In addition, you can plant bulb flowers such as hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils or tulips outside, which will soon bloom. It is still too cool now for summer flowers like snapdragons, male chaff or dwarf vetches. However, you can sow them now in boxes on the windowsill and put them on the balcony or terrace after the Ice Saints in mid-May.
Now it finally looks like spring indoors. In April, many classic houseplants begin to bloom again. For example
Cut back weak winter shoots, this promotes growth and strengthens the shoots. If the roots grow out of the bottom of the pot or wrap around the root ball, you should repot the plants. Plants that they have just cut back should not be repotted for a few weeks. In the growth phase houseplants need a lot of nutrients and water, so you should fertilize and water them regularly now.
Freshly planted or propagated by cuttings, you can now, among other things.
If you haven't yet taken the rakes, shovels and spades out of the basement and cleaned, derusted and greased them, you should definitely do so now. You should also sharpen or have sharpened the lawn mower blades and electric hedge trimmer. If you have a pond in the garden or a fountain on the balcony or terrace, you should check and clean the filters and pumps or replace them if necessary. The garden furniture, which you have treated before the winter break, you can now at the latest bring out of the cellar, dust off and set up. Also think about awnings or blinds, which you will probably have to free from cobwebs after the winter.
Do not stop feeding the birds. The young have hatched and are very hungry. Besides, in April you should also plant plants for bees, butterflies and other useful insects, for example. /