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.

 

Conservation, Current Issues, Events, Scott, Sustainable Living, Wildlife

What is Earth Day?

Climate Activism

Earth Day is an annual series of demonstrations and events that push engagement with issues surrounding the environment on a global scale. This year’s events focus on climate action. In a year where we’ve been inspired by individuals like Greta Thunberg and groups like Extinction Rebellion its time to put plans into action and halt the growing crisis.

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day takes place every year on April 22nd.  

Important Dates

April 22nd 1970 marked the first Earth Day. It acted as a voice for growing environmental concern in a world that was beginning to consume more and more. The Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day 2016; this is perhaps the most important declaration for change that has occurred for the environment. Nations have pledged to hit strict targets for lowering carbon emissions, protecting ecosystems, investing in green businesses and a whole host of other topics. 

Green Energy - Off Shore WInd farm

Why is 2020 so important?

Earth Day 20202020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth day. Since 1970, the event has grown to include millions of people across thousands of organisations. That’s people and nations all over the world who have pledged to do their part and take action. In a year that’s already seen the damage created by extreme weather the time for action has never been clearer.

How can I get involved?

There are many things you can do as an individual to help celebrate Earth Day 2020. Below are just a few ways you can engage with the day this year:

  1. Research the history of Earth Day and the many achievements they’ve helped bring about. Spread the word about the day and its importance in the world today.
  2. Charities all over the world are dedicated to tackling the issues that Earth Day engages with. Supporting these charities with your time or your money is a great way to ensure their work continues.
  3. If change is going to come about it has to come from the organisations and business that affect are day-to-day lives and the best way to bring this about is with individuals holding business to account. Contact the businesses you regularly engage with and question their green credentials; let them know that you take their effects on the environment seriously.
  4. World wide change can start in your own back garden. Local wildlife is essential for healthier ecosystems. You can set up habitats and feeding stations or plant a wildflower meadow to help your local environment out; a small action that if done collectively can make a difference nationwide! 

Wildflower Meadow

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, Flowers, Gardening, Planting, Plants, Scott

There are a wide range of plants for spring that you can sow now in April. Read our quick guide below to some staple planting options for your garden.  

Pond Plants

Pond Plants

With the weather beginning to warm now is a great time to introduce plants to your pond. The warmer temperatures will give them plenty of time to establish. Try not to delay too much between purchasing and planting these as drying them out can be damaging. Plant into mesh containers and fill with aquatic compost before submerging. Be sure to include some oxygenating plants like Hornwort to help keep the water clear.

Perennials

Spring Plants - Digitalis

Getting plants into your garden beds now will ensure you have a beautiful display come summer. Plants like Digitalis or Campanula are perfect plants for spring and for adding colour to your garden whilst also being a great source of pollen for bees and butterflies. Water new plants regularly to help them get established and give an extra helping hand with occasional top-ups of organic compost or well-rotted manure. 

Summer bulbs

Spring Plants - Dahlia

Dahlias, Gladioli and Peonies are all perfect summer bulbs for getting in the ground now in preparation for summer. Make sure they get a sunny position in the garden with some well-drained soil. Planting across a number of weeks will give your garden a procession of flowers emerging one after the other so you can enjoy continuous colour outside for the season. 

Climbers

Clematis

Climbing plants are a great way to update a space and bring new life to areas of your garden. They can be used to cover trellis or pergolas in characterful blooms or serve a practical purpose of transforming unsightly walls or buildings. They’re also a great asset for smaller gardens where space is a premium and growing vertically make the most use of available space. Plants such as clematis, honeysuckle and Ipomoea are all great varieties to try sowing.   

Nicotiana 

One of the best ways to step up your garden game is to plant for all of the senses. You don’t want to limit the enjoyment of your garden to just what you see – think about your other senses, in particular, what you can smell. Nicotiana has a delightful fragrance that is very enjoyable on summer evenings. Plant these in March and April to enjoy when summer rolls around. 

Poppies

Spring Plants - Poppies

Instantly recognisable with luscious scent and colour, poppies will always bring delight to your garden. They can be sown from March to May in time for blooms in summer and autumn – a great plant for creating lasting colour with variations of interest. 

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.