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.
April Focus: Planting summer flowering bulbs
Planning ahead is an important part of gardening, and spring is the ideal time to get some bulbs in the ground ready for the summer.
Bulbs are one of our favourite things to plant, they’re ideal for beginner gardeners, easy to look after, and will quickly fill your garden with colour.
For a riot of colour in June, July and August, you should look to plant your bulbs between March and May. With careful choice, you’ll be able to enjoy these flowers throughout the summer season.
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
- Feed roses, borders, hedges, trees, shrubs and spring bulbs with general purpose fertiliser
Vegetables and herbs
- Sow broad beans, summer cabbage, Brussels 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
- 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 (parsley, coriander, fennel, dill and marjoram)
- Plant out strawberry plants
- 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 tomatoes
- Sow frost-tender vegetables (greenhouse melons and cucumbers, sweetcorn, French and runner beans, marrows, pumpkins, squashes and courgettes) for planting outdoors later in a heated propagator
- Spring clean the pond
- 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
- Treat moss and weeds and re-seed 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
Trees, shrubs and climbers
- Plant or move evergreen trees and shrubs
- Feed acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons
- Continue planting pot-grown woody plants
- 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 insulation of borderline-hardy plants
Patios and containers
- Plant spring bedding and summer bulbs in pots
- Plant compact trees, shrubs and evergreens in pots
April garden project: Create a bird friendly garden
It doesn’t matter what size your outside space is, or whether you’re out in the countryside or the middle of the urban jungle.
A few quick and easy considerations in your garden design can help invite animals, minibeasts or birds into the garden. Read our guide for top tips and ideas to help get furry, flying or feathered guests to visit your home.