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Tips and advice on garden care in April
April brings with it longer days and occasionally mild, sunny weather. The colder chill of winter has passed, and spring is in full swing.
It's time to enjoy that gentle sunshine, so read on for our top tips on caring for your outside space in April.
Mild sunny weather in April can make you think summer is already here - but it isn’t. Frost can still catch you out, so don’t plant out any tender bedding and patio plants just yet. Keep them safely under cover in a greenhouse, growhouse or cold frame.
April Focus: Growing vegetables
Growing your own produce is one of the most rewarding things to do in your outdoor space. And with its longer, lighter days, April is the best time to start your ‘grow your own’ project. This time of year is best for planning ahead. Get sowing all of your favourite Christmas vegetables such as parsnips, leeks and of course Brussels sprouts. At B&Q our selection of vegetable seeds covers a whole range, so you'll always find something, no matter how much space or time you have.
Take a look at our guides to help you with all your growing projects, full of great advice from when to plant to how to look after them.
Grow your own: Salad leaves
Salad leaves are one of the easiest and trouble-free foods to grow. It’s a great choice if you want to grow something you can use every day but don’t have much, or any, garden space. They can be grown in beds, pots or seed trays, in greenhouses, outside or even on your windowsill. Give it a try with our easy to follow guide.
Garden jobs for April
General garden tasks
- Spring clean borders, keep on top of weeding and hoeing
- Feed roses, borders, hedges, trees, shrubs and spring bulbs with general purpose fertiliser
- Mulch borders with compost from the compost bin. This will not only lock in moisture and give plants a feed, but it will also help to improve the soil
- If you've not got one already, install a water butt to harvest rainwater from roofs, including the greenhouse, ready for the summer ahead.
Vegetables and herbs
- Sow broad beans, summer cabbage, Brussel sprouts, early peas, summer/autumn cauliflower, sprouting broccoli, leeks, beetroot, radish, spring onion, lettuce, rocket, turnip, spinach, parsnips, carrot and onion
- Plant first early, second early and maincrop potatoes. Earth up shoots of early potatoes to protect them from frost with garden canes and netting
- Look after your veg - water and hoe regularly, thin out and transplant seedlings, and give support to peas and beans sown earlier
- Sow hardy herbs like parsley, coriander, fennel, dill and marjoram
- Plant out strawberry plants into soil enriched with well-rotten manure
- Feed blackcurrants, blackberries, and hybrid berries
- Ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days, but shut it down mid-afternoon to retain the heat at night
- Towards the end of the month, start hardening off bedding plants and frost-tender vegetables grown indoors by standing them outside on fine days
- Prick out, and thin out seedlings
- Sow frost-tender vegetables like cucumbers, sweetcorn, French and runner beans, marrows, pumpkins, squashes and courgettes, for planting outdoors later in a heated propagator
- Sow tomato seeds
- Spring clean the pond with a pond net or blanket weed brush
- Divide overgrown plants and put in new water plants
- Towards the end of the month start feeding your fish
- Feed grass if you live in the southern part of the UK with a lawn feed to help to encourage spring growth
- Scarify patches of moss and remove weeds. If you have a large lawn that needs work, use a moss and weed killer and re-seed any bare patches.
- Sow grass seed to make a new lawn if you can’t wait until autumn
- Mow lawns at least once a fortnight or once a week in really mild weather
- When growing daffodils in grass, mow around patches of the bulbs
Trees, shrubs and climbers
- Plant or move evergreen trees and shrubs
- Feed acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons
- Continue planting pot-grown woody plants
- Use a hedge trimmer to tidy up hedges and clip if necessary - although it’s usually best to leave this until next
- month (always check there are no birds nesting first)
- Plant pot-grown evergreens for hedges
- Wait for six weeks after flowers of spring bulbs are over before cutting the foliage down
- Continue to plant perennials and finish dividing and replanting summer flowering perennials
- Plant out hardy annuals sown inside in autumn
- Continue to sow hardy annuals outside
- Remove any horticultural fleece from borderline-hardy plants
Patios and containers
- Plant spring bedding and summer bulbs in pots
- Plant compact trees, shrubs, and evergreens in pots
- Plant up hanging baskets with spring bedding
April garden project: Create a bird friendly garden
A few quick and easy considerations in your garden design can help invite all sort of birds into the garden. Read our guide for top tips and ideas to help attract more feathered guests to visit your home.