31 March 2023
April Gardening Jobs
With the arrival of spring, it's time to put on your gardening gloves and get your hands dirty. April is a fantastic month to start planting and preparing your garden for the upcoming summer season. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a beginner, there's always something new to learn and discover in the world of gardening. here is the lowdown on April gardening jobs that you can tackle to ensure a beautiful and healthy garden. From planting vegetables and flowers to pruning and weeding, we cover it all...
Basic Gardening Jobs in April
April is the time to begin weed control, clear away the last of the winter debris and look towards the lawn, it's the perfect time to patch in or lay a whole new green carpet. Be careful when mowing this month, it's important to use a high cut as the earth is often still moist from the spring showers and it allows the grass to grow stronger for a more consistent lawn throughout the year.
Prepare your soil: With the warmer weather and longer days, April is a great time to prepare your soil for planting. This might include adding compost or other organic matter to improve soil fertility and structure, as well as digging in any overwintered cover crops or green manures.
Prune and divide: April is a good time to tackle any pruning or dividing tasks in your garden. This might include pruning back shrubs, cutting back perennials, or dividing clumps of bulbs or herbaceous plants. This can help to promote healthy growth and ensure that your plants stay vigorous and attractive throughout the growing season.
Before planting vegetables like carrots, peas, winter cabbages, broccoli, and lettuce it's important to harden the seeds gently to acclimate them to the outdoor conditions. Wait until any hard frost has passed, then sow the seeds directly into the soil. Provide a consistent water supply to help the plants take root, and any lagging plants should regain strength within a few days
April is a great time to plant early potatoes, which can be grown in containers or bags. Sow seeds for beetroot, radishes, and spring onions, all of which can be harvested relatively quickly. If you have a greenhouse or protected growing area, you can also start sowing seeds for tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, which will need to be kept warm until they can be planted outside in late May or early June.
Another top April Gardening Tip is to grow salad vegetables, simply sow the seeds in 4 to 6-inch rows, water and harvest as required. For smaller gardens, it's ideal to sow salad seeds in pots or boxes by the back door, ideal for grabbing fresh produce straight to the table. April is also the beginning of the asparagus season.
It's important to keep a close eye on your plants during this time, as April weather can be unpredictable and plants may be vulnerable to late frosts. Keep them well-watered and be prepared to cover them with fleece or other protective material if necessary. With a bit of care and attention, you can have a thriving vegetable garden that will provide you with fresh and nutritious produce all summer long.
Ever popular rambling and climbing roses need tying in, and tree ties across all garden plants should be checked over to ensure there are no abrasions to the trunk, leaving room for growth in new ties - one of the most important April Gardening Tips to note down.
It's important to deadhead tulips and beloved daffodils at the end of April, remembering to allow the foliage to die back naturally.
From the middle to the end of April is considered the best time to plant hardy annuals, while it's a good time to sow half-hardy flowers in window boxes and greenhouses. For gardeners with a love of hanging baskets, April is the time to plant up early and let rest in the greenhouse, ensuring an abundance of strong colour in the summer months.
Planting up a Hanging Basket
- Choose a basket: First, choose a suitable hanging basket that is the right size and shape for the plants you want to use. Make sure it has good drainage holes.
- Line the basket: Line the basket with a layer of sphagnum moss or a liner to help retain moisture.
- Add a circle of plastic underneath or consider automated watering systems. Hanging baskets dry out faster than other containers so ensure the basket can withhold water.
- Add compost: Fill the basket with good quality compost, leaving enough space at the top to add your plants.
- Choose your plants: Choose plants that suit the conditions of your hanging basket - such as light levels, wind exposure, and soil moisture. Consider mixing different colours and textures to create an interesting display.
- Plant the basket: Begin planting from the centre of the basket and work your way outwards, adding the largest plants first. Be sure to plant them firmly and evenly throughout the basket.
- Add more compost: After planting, add more compost around the root balls of the plants and water well.
- Hang the basket: Hang the basket in a suitable location, where it can receive the right amount of light and be protected from strong winds.
- Water and feed: Regularly water and feed your hanging basket, especially during dry spells, to ensure the plants stay healthy and vibrant.
There are many herbs that can be sown, grown, or propagated from cuttings during April. By starting these herbs in April, you can enjoy fresh, flavorful additions to your cooking throughout the growing season. Here are some of our favourites:
- Basil: Basil is a popular herb that can be grown from seed or propagated from cuttings. It prefers warm temperatures and plenty of light, so it's a good idea to start it indoors in April and then move it outside once the weather warms up.
- Chives: Chives are a hardy perennial herb that can be grown from seed or propagated by dividing clumps. They can be planted directly into the ground in April or started indoors and transplanted later.
- Parsley: Parsley is another versatile herb that can be sown directly into the ground or started indoors. It prefers moist soil and partial shade, so be sure to keep it well-watered and protected from direct sun.
- Mint: Mint is a hardy perennial herb that can be grown from seed or propagated by taking cuttings. It's best grown in containers or in a separate area of the garden to prevent it from spreading too much.
- Thyme: Thyme is a low-growing herb that can be started from seed or propagated by taking cuttings. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun, making it a good choice for rock gardens or herb beds.
April is the time to boost the feed for your fruit, ideally with long-prepared manure. Weed as normal and be vigilant of any pest issues such as aphids, scabs and suckers and red spider mites.
Strawberries can be planted in April either in the ground, in strawberry pots or in hanging baskets. Though the bare root season is over, potted fruit trees such as currants, figs and citrus can be planted anytime of the year.
Many top and soft fruiting plants, once they start to bud and flower can be especially vulnerable to frost. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to cover budding fruit if needed. Use fleece for trees and bushes and cloches for strawberries.
April Gardening Projects
ONE - Design a New Patio
What better way to enjoy the long hot summer nights than on a new patio?! Planning ahead in April can really pay off, with time to create a new design, remove the old flagstones and replace with the new patio of choice. Limestone Slabs, Indian Sandstone Slabs and Porcelain Tiles are both popular choices for garden paving in 2023.
Westminster Stone's best-selling range of hand made traditional flagstones, are perfect for period properties, listed buildings, barn conversion and kitchen gardens. Visit our Customer Gallery page to discover wonderful UK-based Garden Designers and inspiration for your next project.
TWO - Clean the Greenhouse
Properly cleaning a greenhouse in April allows the maximum light to enter and improves the conditions for all seeds, bulbs and plants. After the last of winter's remains are cleared from the greenhouse gutters (this is great for topping up the compost bin), an all-over exterior wash with warm water and sponge is recommended, washed down with fresh water from a watering can or low-pressure hose.
Pick a dry sunny day to clean the greenhouse interior, if possible removing all items, brushing down the shelves and window sills and depending on the flooring material either brushing, mopping or power washing. Take particular care to clean the windows and wipe them down to remove any residue.
THREE - Get FREE Plants
One of the very best April Gardening Tips is to get plants for free by splitting and replanting perennials that have become woody or died back at the centre. It's wise to turn the earth over, and fertilise and water well to give your free plants the best possible start.
Gardening in April Videos
We've collated a number of YouTube videos from reputable sources that all contain great April Gardening Tips. While every effort has been made to share high-quality information, Westminster Stone is not responsible for any of the content within any of the following links.
images from pexels