April really is the start of Autumn, the leaves are changing colour and the mornings are cooler. I have been busy picking my apples, tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn all of which I have had a very good crop this year. I am also busy getting the last of my Winter vegetable crops planted and have also noticed the large white butterfly population that is around this year (will have to spray if I want any brassicas later).

Another pest around in large numbers this season has been the tomato/potato psyllid which has really decimated many tomato and potato crops around the city this season. To grow these crops successfully next season you will need to treat the plants to prevent the insect attacking the plants.

As I write this we are having some very welcome rainfall which will benefit the garden over the Autumn and gives us some good growth before the onset of Winter. As the ground cools then it is time to get the Spring bulbs planted and also Winter annuals will need to be planted to get some growth on before the on set of the colder Winter weather.

[one_third] Lawns

  1. Look for signs of fungi infection and treat if needed (bravo or thiram are effective).
  2. Treat for grass grub, especially if you have a new lawn.
  3. Do any repairs and top dressing to areas that have damage.
  4. Mow each week but not too low and catch the clippings.
  5. Feed the grass just as the Autumn growth starts to build the plants up before Winter. [/one_third]

[one_third] Flower Garden

  1. Remove Summer annuals as they finish their flowering.

  2. Plant Spring bulbs

  3. Cut back Summer flowering perennials by about two thirds.

  4. Take cuttings of pelargoniums to get plants for next season.

  5. Fuchsia cuttings may be taken now.

  6. Sweet peas sown now will give early flowers next season. Plant poppies, pansies, violas, polyanthus, forget me nots and primulas for Winter and Spring flowers. [/one_third]

[one_third_last]Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Remove any diseased or insect damaged fruit from trees or ground beneath trees. This will help to avoid problems over Winter and infection next season.

  2. Plant the last of the Winter brassicas and treat for white butterfly.

  3. Compost crop waste with Autumn leaves to use next season.

  4. Sow green crops on spare ground to improve the soil.

  5. Remove the old fruiting canes of raspberries and give a copper spray for fungi diseases.

  6. The first sowing of broad beans can be made at the end of the month.

  7. Keep leeks well feed and weed free to get the best results. [/one_third_last]