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April Gardening Advice from 1906

April gardening advice from the 1906 edition of the magazine “One & All” is shown below. You may not easily be able to lay your hands on muslin and may feel a tad squeamish about adding sewage to your strawberries but other advice holds true today.

“The plants in the window should now be cleaned, potted and trained. The plants can hardly be too frequently washed overhead with clean soft water. There is no easier nor upon the whole better way of cleaning them than the moving them out of doors and drenching them frequently overhead with a shower from a coarse-rosed watering can.
A soft piece of flannel or sponge is also useful for cleaning leaf and stem. The bright opening sun will reveal the dirt, which must be persistently removed. Were a bit of muslin blind thrown over plants when the room is swept, and left on till the dust settles, it would be of the greatest service.

Sweet William Pink Beauty

Sweet William Pink Beauty

Geraniums, fuchsias, &c, may be potted towards the end of the month, using any light mellow garden earth or a bit of maiden loam from the roadside for the purpose.

Finish pruning and training roses, jasmines, honeysuckles, &c on the cottage. Let them be neatly trained. Such attention to the plants bespeak a love of neatness and order in the possessor of the cottage and beget feelings of respect and goodwill from others.

Let the vine be carefully trained and the apricot, peach, early plum or pear blossoms on the gable ends or walls be carefully protected from the frost with a few boughs, old mats or wisps of straw, anything to keep the frost off and secure a crop.

Scrupulously clean flower borders, so that the sweet Williams, winter stocks, wallflowers, violets and the bright crocuses, tulips, primroses, &c may look their best on a clean bed or border. See too that all walks, roads and yards are made clean, before the press of garden work becomes so heavy as to absorb every spare moment in the garden.

If any of the work recommended for last month remains unfinished, owing to unfavourable weather, it should now be done.

Make up a small hot-bed, if possible, for growing ridge cucumbers and vegetable marrows or, if not, choose a warm place for these crops and sow at once.

Apple Blossum

See that the birds do not clear off the buds from fruit bushes or trees. One of the simplest means of protection is to run white, almost invisible threads from bough to bough in all directions. The birds alight for their feast without having seen the threads, begin to eat, look up and observe the network of threads, whistle their astonishment and hop off.

Protect newly planted fruit trees from the evils of drought and the early fruit blossoms from birds and spring frosts. One good soaking of sewage or clean water will often carry the trees safely through a dry April and ensure a full set of fruit. During a dry spring strawberries on light, hungry soils, are often much benefited by one or more good soakings of house slops or sewage in April and again in May.”


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