What to do in your garden in April
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.
Excerpt from Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost (1926)
- Plant out your Autumn sown Sweet Pea seedlings or sow now direct in their final flowering position.
- Dependant on the variety hardy annuals can be sown either indoors or outdoors, following the instructions on the packet. Have a browse through our range of flower seeds
- Half-hardy flowers can be sown in trays and kept on a windowsill or in the greenhouse.
- This may be your last chance to order young flower plants as many will be delivered in May so have a look at your garden plan and check for gaps.
- Hanging baskets can be planted up and kept in the greenhouse while the plants grow on.
- Remove any faded flowers from early-flowering bulbs, especially daffodils.
- If you want them to naturalise then leave flowers on snowdrops, crocus, muscari, scillas and other small bulbs.
- Begonia tubers can still be planted in pots and kept in the greenhouse – remember that the concave part of the tuber needs to be uppermost.
- In mild areas dahlia tubers can be planted outside towards the end of the month.
- Stagger the planting of your gladioli corms and you’ll prolong the flowering period.
- For filling gaps in the garden plant lilies in pots so that you can move them around. Further information on growing lily bulbs
- Mulch around trees with well-rotted manure.
- Keep an eye out for any pests and take corrective action.
- Apple trees, pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees will start flowering in April. If as few as 5 to 10% of the flowers set then you will have a good crop so don’t worry too much about flowers dropping.
- If frost threatens then try to protect the flowers with fleece.
- Check tree ties to prevent rocking.
- In drying wind water all newly planted trees.
- Summer and autumn fruiting raspberries should be cut back to approximately 23cm from the base.
- To encourage early flowers cover strawberry plants with cloches.
- Now is the time to sow direct carrots, peas, beetroot, winter cabbages, broccoli, salad crops and much more. Browse through our full range of vegetable seed.
- Marrows, courgettes, pumpkins, squashes and tomatoes can all be sown in a heated greenhouse or propagator.
- If frost threatens then pull some fleece over your potato foliage.
- Plant onion sets when the soil is dry.
- Make sure you’ve ordered your tomato plants.
- If any rhubarb flowers appear then cut them out near the base as otherwise they will steal food and energy from the plant.
- If your asparagus beds are at least 2-years old then any spears can be cut using a sharp knife or better still, a made-for-purpose asparagus knife.
- Rake out any dead moss with a scarifier and then fork over to improve drainage.
- Apply lawn fertiliser.
- Mow growing grass but keep the blades fairly high still.
- Dig out any perennial weeds.
- April is a great time for sowing new lawns and repairing bare patches. Rapid Green 2 Self-Repairing Lawn Seed is the All-in-one solution to achieving the perfect lawn!
- Early sowings outside may prove difficult due to the cold and wet soil at this time, therefore, by warming up the soil of prepared areas with cloches it will protect from frost and rain.
- It is ideal to leave the cloches in place for at least two or three weeks when the soil can be raked prior to seed sowing and planting out of young seedlings. Replace the cloches giving the young plants a good start.
- Keep an eye out for slugs and snails with the use of slug pellets if needed, of course, following directions on box.
- It is important to remove blanket weed with a rake so that it doesn’t take over or use a product such as Green B’s Ultimate Blanket Weed Killer.
- Check wiring and clean fountain pumps filter thoroughly that may have been stored away for the winter before placing back in the pond.
- Established waterlilies should be fed with a specially formulated feed.
- Sowings can be made of dill, fennel, hyssop, parsley and thyme.
- Any sowings made in March may need careful thinning.
- If you have an established thyme plant then have a go at layering some creeping stems by covering them with fine soil. Once they’ve rooted you can separate them and plant elsewhere. It won’t take long – thyme waits for no man (sorry!).