The garden is really getting into its stride in April, with warmer, sunnier days. You’ll see a massive amount of activity in the garden this month, from fledgling birds and ponds full of tadpoles, to fresh new leaves on trees and the first seedlings appearing in the veg patch.
The longer evenings and warmer weather mean being outside is now a pleasure rather than a chore, and there’s plenty to keep you busy from April Fool’s Day all the way through to May!
Your essential April checklist
- Sow hardy annuals and native wildflowers to fill gaps in borders.
- Deadhead spring bulbs like tulips but allow the foliage to die back before cutting.
- Keep a lookout for aphids appearing on roses, and deal with them quickly with an organic pesticide or warm soapy water before they get a chance to become an infestation.
- Add aquatic plants like irises and waterlilies to ponds.
- Declare all-out war on the slugs with the first dose of Nematode slug killer!
- Make sure your greenhouse is clean and mould-free, and open vents on warm days to promote good air circulation.
- Keep the lawn trimmed and tidy with regular cuts.
- Aerate your lawn and apply a combined feed, weed and moss killer to get it into condition for summer. Repair bare lawn patches.
Flowers and borders
- There’s still time to sow tender annuals like cosmos, nicotiana and marigolds in pots and modules, ready for planting out once the frosts are past for a fabulous summer display.
- As the soil starts to warm up, now’s a good time to plant perennials for beautiful colour that will come back year after year.
- Trim English lavender, taking care not to cut back into old wood.
- Prune forsythia once it finishes flowering, cutting stems back by a quarter of their length.
- Sow sweet peas outdoors, and plant out winter-sown sweet pea seedlings.
- Tie climbing roses and clematis in to supports.
In the veg garden
- Sow tomatoes, squashes and courgettes in compostable pots indoors.
- Plant second early potatoes in early April and maincrop potatoes towards the end of the month.
- Plant onions and shallots, and cover them with fleece for the first month to stop birds pulling up the young plants.
- Underplant slower veg crops with faster ones such as radishes to make good use of the space in your plot.