Time for home pruning

First published in Features

Gardening with Reg Moule of David's Nurseries Martin Hussingtree.

APRIL is a good month to check over your houseplants to see if any need to be moved on into bigger pots, but remember to only go up a maximum of two pot sizes and use either houseplant or multi-purpose compost.

There is usually something to be pruned whatever the time of year and at the moment it is time to turn our attention to straggly silver leafed plants, like Saintolina and Lavender.

These can be cut back quite hard in order to tidy them up but not into the old wood as they can often be reluctant to break into new growth again.

Early flowering Clematis, like members of the alpina and macropetala groups, can also be cut back as they finish blooming in order to keep them within bounds.

If they still have room available to extend their growth then there is no need to prune them at all.

Check over all your climbing plants to see if there are any shoots that have been damaged by winter storms, as these should be removed so that new growth can continue unencumbered.

Early April is the time to sow tomatoes ready for planting out in the garden during early summer and I normally put in some sweet basil seeds at the same time as they make a grand combination in salads.

Later in the month it will be time to sow tender vegetables ready for planting out in the garden in May, here I'm thinking about marrows, courgettes, ridge cucumbers, sweet corn and French and runner beans, and while we are considering seed sowing I always find that growing annual climbers from seed is very satisfying.

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