Alice, Gardening Year

April is the month that sees the most change in the garden. In the beginning, spring has barely sprung, but by the end of the month, your garden will be blossoming into flower. Now the weather is getting warmer and the first flowers are blooming, it’s a great time to get out in your garden. This month is also the time to start laying in the groundwork for a bountiful harvest in summer. Here are the main April gardening jobs to get cracking on this month.

april gardening jobs - what to do in the garden in april

General

  • Sow lawn seed: sow lawn seed or apply turf to repair any bare patches or add new lawn areas. Apply a high-nitrogen fertiliser for an additional boost
  • Install lawn edging: border edging adds the perfect finishing touch to your garden design and reduces weed transfer, so take the opportunity to install some now
  • Invest in a water butt: if you haven’t already, invest in a water butt to make the most of the summer rainfall and provide your plants with chemical-free water

Plants

  • Deadhead daffodils and tulips: cut off the head after it has finished flowering, however leave the leaves to die back naturally as they are needed to form a new bulb. The bulbs can be dug up and stored until autumn
  • Divide hostas: these plants can get very large and crowd out other plants, so it’s best to divide in April as they start to show vigorous growth. Dig up plants and segment with a sharp spade or saw
  • Take pelargonium cuttings: cut the plants into shape and use the cuttings to make new ones. Strip off the lower leaves and place cuttings in pots of compost
  • Move evergreen trees and shrubs: take the opportunity to make any changes while the soil is not frozen or waterlogged
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses: when stems are long enough to reach the supports, tie with cable ties to train them
  • Mulch perennials, trees, and shrubs: apply a layer of organic matter before the hot weather arrives. You can also feed with a slow-release fertiliser . Find out how to mulch with our guide
  • Check tree ties: ensure they are not cutting into the trunk and loosen any that are too tight
  • Remove dead foliage: if you haven’t already, cut back any dead foliage on perennials or ornamental grasses to make room for new shoots
  • Plant hardy annuals and flower seeds: plant hardy varieties that can be sown outdoors this month
  • Take care of houseplants: now the weather is getting warmer make sure your houseplants are well watered
  • Order summer bedding and hanging basket plants: now is your last chance to order these in time for summer, so make sure to check out our summer bedding plants and hanging baskets

Flowers to sow this month: cosmos, poppies, angelica gigas, nicotiana, lagurus, monarda, ipomoea lobata, wildflower seed mixtures, calendula

Produce

  • Prepare seed beds: remove weeds and large stones, and dig in a layer of compost, green waste, or well-rotted manure
  • Build raised beds: raised beds are a great solution to poor-quality soil and reduce the amount of bending needed. Now is a great time to build one, so check out our ready-made raised beds for a hassle-free option. Find out how to build a raised bed with our guide.
  • Plant vegetable seeds: now the weather is warmer, there are plenty of vegetable seeds that can be sown this month, so get planting!
  • Support pea plants: support growing pea plants by pushing sticks around them
  • Harvest asparagus spears: harvest asparagus crops when the plants are no more than 18cm tall (7in)
  • Mulch fruit trees: feed with garden compost or well-rotted manure, taking care not to mound too much around the trunk
  • Protect fruit blossom from late frosts: cover trees with fleece on colder evenings

Crops to sow this month: sweet peppers, spring onions, chillies, beetroot, carrots, leeks, lettuce, radish, spinach, peas, kale, broad beans, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, sweetcorn, swiss chard

Greenhouse

  • Scrub with hot soapy water: this will get rid of pests and let in more light for your growing plants
  • Grow flowers and vegetables: some half-hardy and tender varieties aren’t ready for the outdoors yet, so grow them in your greenhouse ready for planting out in the summer

What to grow in the greenhouse this month: sunflowers, nasturtiums, petunias, scabiosas, marigolds, tomatoes, aubergines, basil, perennial herbs, french beans, runner beans, celery, courgettes, marrow, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, strawberries

Animals

  • Sow wildflowers: sow seeds of cornfield annuals such as poppies and cornflowers to provide nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies
  • Feed hedgehogs: now the hedgehogs are out of hibernation, leave out a bowl of cat or dog food to get them well-fed for the breeding season next month
  • Provide a bee hotel: bee hotels provide a  habitat for solitary bees so make sure to get one in your garden to provide these useful pollinators with a safe shelter
  • Welcome wild birds: keep birdbaths and bird feeders topped up to keep wild birds fed and watered

What April gardening jobs have you been doing? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Scott, Weeding

Summer officially runs from June to mid-September when your garden will usually be looking its very best. You can continue the blooms you’ve seen emerge in spring and you will have plenty of time to entertain in the garden now the warm weather is stable. To ensure you enjoy a summer garden that’s filled with colourful flower beds,  preparation is key. Your window of opportunity for this starts around mid-March (depending on the weather) when the warm weather starts to become more consistent and the ground is ready for summer bulbs.

Summer Garden Flowers

When is it too late?

There are no hard-set rules for when it’s too late. But as a rule of thumb, as close to March as you can start work, the better. This gives whatever work you do time to settle, develop and be ready for summer. 

You can be doing work that will bear results in summer as late into the season as you want. But the earlier you start and the sooner you get your preparation done the better your results will be and the longer the season of colourful flowers you can enjoy. 

Reasons to get outdoors now

There’s work to be done

Spring will begin to fill your garden with spots of colour that can be very inspiring. There are few ways you can ensure that trend continues into summer. Check out our March, April and May garden job posts for more details.

Garden Wildlife

Enjoy the sun as soon as it arrives

Preparing your garden now will set you up nicely for when the warm weather becomes more stable so you avoid rushing when the sun hits.

Garden Furniture - Sofa Set

Let your plants really blossom

Preparing your soil and garden beds with a though-out plan will make for a beautiful display come summer.

    • Plan how your flower beds will continue to bloom with colours, patterns and textures
    • Check any bulbs that you’ve stored over winter
    • Keep watering your spring blooms 

Spring Flowers

Get the most from summer

Summer is when your garden shows off its best assets. Putting in a little effort now will only enhance the success of summer.

    • Watch out for pests by using natural techniques like companion planting
    • Begin to mow your lawn often so its lush and green in preparation for the social season

Lawn Mower from Greenworks

What one thing should I definitely do before summer?

The return of warmer weather means the return of life to your garden when things will really start to grow again. That includes all of your beautiful flowers but it also includes weeds. You want to keep on top of weeds as soon as they emerge, otherwise, they could overwhelm and ruin a summer garden.

  1. Use a hand fork to get right under the roots of a weed and pull it right out of the soil
  2. If you break the weed and leave part of the root in the soil and can’t remove it, spray it with a dose of weed killer before covering with polythene to starve it of sunlight.
  3. Collect all of your weeds together and put them in a separate pile – do not put them in your compost heap as they may start growing fresh in your compost!

Garden Weeds

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

 

Birds, Bulbs, Flowers, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gardens, Grow Your Own, Planting, Plants, Scott, Wildlife

With Spring truly on its way now and the clocks going forward, there’s plenty to be doing in the garden. March gardening is all about setting yourself up for the return of warmer days. With a little preparation, you’ll have an outdoor space filled with colourful blooms and happy wildlife. This is an important month for wildlife when insects start becoming more abundant, birds begin working on their nests and smaller mammals come out of their winter hibernation.    

march garden

General

  • Mulch to protect soil: bare soil is in a vulnerable state as it’s coming out of frosty weather and heading into drier, warmer days. This means water will start evaporating from the soil; to ensure that doesn’t happen too much, a good layer of organic mulch can keep water in and also help stop the growth of unwanted weeds.  
  • Begin mowing the lawn: grass will now start growing more steadily. A lawn will stay greener the less you take from it each time you mow so little and often is ideal this time of year. 
  • Plan your summer planting: start thinking ahead to summer and begin planting your summer flowering bulbs.
  • Protect plants from pests: warmer weather means more pests will be coming into the garden. Try to stick to natural pesticides where possible and if chemicals are required be sure to use it late in the day when the majority of beneficial insects will have made themselves scarce. 

garden mulch

Plants

  • Plant summer bulbs: you may be enjoying some colour from spring bulbs but now is a great time to think about summer planting. Plan out your arrangments now to ensure you get the full benefit of their colours come summer. 
  • Plant in containers: lots of plants can successfully be grown in containers; a great option for when space is limited to perhaps just a balcony or patio area. Hardy plants like roses can be an excellent choice for providing dramatic colour without taking up lots of space. 
  • Relocate shrubs: if you want o re-arrange the layout of your garden a little, now is a great time to move evergreen shrubs. The shrub will not have begun taking water from the soil yet so moving it now will give it time to recover and prepare for a good growing season. 
  • Control weeds: use a fork or hoe to get ahead on clearing garden weeds. This can help prevent more serious outbreaks later in the year.

summer flowers

Produce

  • Prepare seedbeds: break down large clumps of soil before raking over to create a ridge effect. Apply an organic fertiliser two weeks before sowing any seeds and your bed will be ready for growing success.  
  • Plant shallots and onions: a perfect grow your own project that can be used in all sorts of dishes. Onions can begin growing in march and finish off in the summer. 
  • Plant early potatoes: seed potatoes can be planted in trenches with an organic fertiliser to get off to the best start.  
  • Sow herbs: hardy herbs like chives, dill, marjoram and coriander are perfect for sowing this time fo year. Plant seeds into drills and pant out when large enough o handle. 

herb garden

Greenhouse

  • Plant summer seeds: you can propagate summer blooms like marigolds in the greenhouse in preparation for warmer days in summer when they can be transplanted outside.
  • Clean the glass: with the warm weather returning you can give the glass a good clean to remove the marks left by winter and maximise the amount of light getting through.
  • Plant summer vegetables: courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and sweetcorn are ideal for planting in the greenhouse ready for transplanting to the outside when the summer warms the garden properly. 

summer saplings

Animals

  • Prepare for hedgehogs: hedgehogs will start coming out of hibernation. Having food and shelter in your garden as well as easy access in and out can make your garden a preferred hedgehog spot. 
  • Feed the birds: this time of year can see a scarcity of wild food for birds who will be working hard to build nests in preparation for chicks. Give them a helping hand by putting out appropriate foods. 
  • Provide a home: butterflies and bees will begin to emerge. Having bug hotels and feeding stations in your garden can make your space a sanctuary for these important pollinators.  
  • Top up birdbaths: make sure the birds in your garden have open access to water for cleaning and drinking. 

hedgehogs

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

Bulbs, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gardens, Planting, Plants, Scott

Officially, spring runs from March to early June. This is the first time in the year when we begin to see colour, life and activity return to the garden. It’s a great time to get out and start enjoying your outdoor space. But you’ll only experience spring colour if you prepare a little before. Your window of opportunity for this starts around mid-January (depending on the weather) when the worse frosts are hopefully over and the ground begins to loosen.   

spring daffodils

When is it too late?

If you can only start work on the garden mid-January and spring starts officially in March that means we only have 1 month to fully prepare everything right? Well actually, there are no hard set rules for this. 

You can be doing work that will bear results in spring as late into the season as you want. But the earlier you start and the sooner you get your preparation done the better your results will be, come spring and the less work you’ll have to do for summer.  

spring flowers

Reasons to prepare your outdoors now

There’s work to be done

Though the garden may be quiet and lifeless at the moment, there are plenty of jobs that can be done. Check out our January and  February garden job posts for more details.

blue tit

Enjoy the sun as soon as it arrives

Preparing your garden now will set you up nicely for the return of warm weather so you avoid rushing when the sun hits.

    • You can start getting social as soon as the sun hits
    • You can invest in quality furniture sets and covers when you need them, instead of when it’s too late

Let your plants really blossom

Getting your garden prepared will allow your planting to take root, ready for a beautiful display come spring and summer. 

spring dahlias

Take it easier come summer

Putting the effort in now makes garden work in the summer much easier.

    • Tasks like laying down mulch this time of year not only helps to prevent early weeds but keeps moisture within the soil making it more drought resistant for summer
    • Planning, preparing and planting now when the weather isn’t great gives you more time to relax and enjoy your garden when the good weather returns.

What one thing should I definitely do before spring?

prepare your garden soil

Assuming that your plans for spring and summer include a certain amount of planting then the best thing you can do before spring is to prepare your garden soil. Whether this is an entire section of bedding or a single planter, having good soil is key to growing success.

  1. Break down any large clumps in your soil with a garden fork
  2. Spread a layer of organic matter over your soil. The nutrients will slowly release into the soil so it’s ready for spring
  3. Use a garden rake or hoe to delicately work the fertiliser into the soil
  4. If you want you can cover your soil with a polythene mesh or a series of cloches. This will protect it from frost, increase the temperature which will help the fertiliser and also help to suppress any early weeds

 

Scott at PrimroseScott is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.