As you harvest the last summer crops it's time to plant your patch with winter staples including broccoli, cabbage, celery and silverbeet. Freshen the flower garden with pansies and polyanthus and don't forget feijoas in the fruit garden.
What to plant in April
In the vegetable garden
- Dig in Tui Compost and Tui Sheep Pellets before planting to replenish nutrients used by previous crops. Compost is also an excellent water saver.
- Beans - tie up floppy plants, and keep them well watered - they should keep producing for another month or so.
- Brussels sprouts - stake taller plants to prevent them from falling over.
- Carrots - thin rows of carrots to ensure the roots develop evenly.
- Sweetcorn - pull out plants once they have finished, and add the stems to the compost heap.
- Tomatoes - in cold areas, pull out plants and leave any green fruits on a windowsill to ripen in the sun (this may take a few weeks).
- Plant beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers, cavolo nero, celery, kale, lettuce, radishes, rocket, spinach, silverbeet, spring onions, coriander, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
- Harvest beans (all types except broad beans), beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, capsicums, carrots, cauliflowers, celery, chillies, courgettes, cucumbers, lettuce, marrows, peas, potatoes, sweetcorn, tomatoes.
- Feed established plants once a month with Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic.
- Lay Tui Quash to control slugs and snails, and spray aphids and whitefly if they are still a problem.
In the fruit garden
- Pick grapes, apples, Chilean guava, pears, rhubarb, walnuts, passion fruit, late peaches.
- Plant evergreen frost hardy fruits such as feijoa (see the feijoa growing guide here) and Chilean guavas.
- Remove runners from strawberry plants and pot up into Tui Strawberry Mix ready for planting out in winter.
- Remember - fruit requires a position in full sun. Shelter from prevailing winds is preferable.
- Aphids, whitefly and scale insects may be about, blast off with a hose or select a suitable spray from your garden centre.
- Pruning - once nectarines, peaches and plums have finished fruiting prune to shape and to remove any dead or diseased branches.
- Add a layer of Tui Mulch & Feed around the base of fruit trees, to keep the soil warmer over the winter months and keep the area weed free.
In the flower garden
- Pick scabious, Peruvian lily, poppies, marguerite daisy, statice, Japanese anemones, roses, coreopsis, echinacea, strawflowers, dahlias, lilies, sweet peas, gypsophila, cosmos, zinnia, pineapple lily, agapanthus, hydrangeas.
- Sow bellis, polyanthus, violas, primula, pansies, flowering kale, poppies, wildflowers, gazania, dianthus.
- Plant autumn hanging baskets with bellis, lobelia, polyanthus, flowering kale, primula, pansies, violas, snapdragons, wildflowers, sweet william, cineraria.
- It's not too late to plant bulbs for spring flowering. Fertilise existing ones with Tui Bulb Food.
- Apply a side dressing of Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to shrub borders and flower gardens.
- Add layers of Tui Mulch & Feed or Tui Pea Straw Mulch to garden beds and pots to conserve water, reduce weeds and add valuable nutrients back to the soil.
- Prune back summer flowering perennials and bulbs that have finished for the season, to tidy up garden borders and beds.
- Lift and divide overgrown perennials.
- Save and dry seeds of summer flowers for sowing in the spring.