It’s at this time of year, every year that I really start to feel that tingle of excitement as spring brings everything back to life. April begins slowly with the first few buds appearing on the trees and ends with an explosion of green as they all come into full leaf. I’ve been away during mid April in the past only to return home to an unrecognisable place, totally different from when I left. Blink though and you’ll miss it happen and in the same short time you can miss being prepared if you are growing from seed. Here is the list of April gardening jobs to get you outside and watching it all emerge for another year.
In the garden
- Throw some grass seed on any bare patches of lawn. Sprinkle a little fine compost over the top though or you’ll find that you have spread some expensive bird food.
- Use a lawn edger or a small spade to cut lawn edges and create a gutter along it that will make it easier to prevent the lawn from creeping.
- Plant sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) and other half hardy annuals straight in the ground.
- Divide herbaceous perennials.
- Hoe borders to keep annual and perennial weeds from establishing and spreading.
- Dig up and divide herbs such as chives, mint and marjoram.
- Sow wild flower seed and hardy annuals now that soil is warmer and once you are clear of frosts.
- Keep an eye on fruit blossom incase there is an unexpected cold snap though.
- Lightly cut back lavender to prevent it getting too leggy, but be careful as it won’t grow back from old wood.
- Check hardwood cuttings taken last year as they may need potting on.
- Insects start to emerge at this time of year so keeping an eye on them now can prevent the need for insecticides later on, if you’re inclined to use them.
- Clean up pond plants before they start growing too much and feed the larger ones. Use aquatic slow release fertiliser tablets placed well below the surface of the soil in the pot.
- Don’t worry if your pond turns from clear to green as it’s quite normal for a certain amount of algae to grow in spring, but look at treatment if this persists for several weeks or more.
- Scrub decking before the algae starts to grow to much and treat wooden structures to stave off the inevitable decay.
In the vegetable plot
- Plant any main crop potatoes, earlies and second earlies should be in by now and will need earthing up.
- Pot on growing plants.
- Build cane or Hazel supports for climbing beans.
- Weed raspberry and blackberry canes, they are much easier when the weeds are small.
- Finish preparing any beds for new or potted on plants to go when it’s warm enough.
- Start or continue sowing successional crops of radish and carrots, these will go and go for months.
- Don’t forget to air protected environments such as greenhouses and poly tunnels as April can get very warm.
- Plant out beetroot modules that have bee planted up and so more for a successional crop.