Things to do during April

Things to do during April

Your monthly gardening checklist for April!


  • Continue deadheading spring bulbs and bedding, so they don't waste energy setting seed
  • Plant pineapple lily (eucomis) bulbs in pots for exotic-looking summer flowers
  • Sow sweet peas at the base of supports, and transplant those sown in autumn into their final positions
  • Spray the new leaves of disease-prone roses with fungicide to control mildew, rust and blackspot
  • Prune hydrangeas, cutting back the old stems to a healthy shoot lower down
  • Reinvigorate mature clumps of hardy perennials, such as hostas, asters and daylilies, by dividing and replanting
  • Sow sunflowers in a sunny, open site, then water regularly and protect seedlings from slugs and snails
  • Check for aphids on roses and rub them off before they develop into major infestations

Fruit and veg

  • Plant second-early and maincrop potatoes
  • Pinch out the tips of broad beans if they're covered in aphids, or spray shoots with soap-based solution
  • Sow outdoor varieties of tomatoes, chillies and courgettes in pots, so they're ready to plant out in late May or June
  • Divide clumps of hardy herbs, such as lemon balm and chives, then replant in pots, borders or a dedicated herb bed
  • Sow small batches of rocket and other easy salad leaves
  • Sow flowering companions in the veg plot, such as pot marigolds and borage
  • Sow herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill and chamomile in a sunny bed or container
  • Protect emerging seedlings from slugs and snails

Garden maintenance

  • Lay turf or sow grass seed to create a new lawn or repair damaged patches
  • Cut back tatty old fern fronds to make way for new ones that are starting to unfurl
  • Keep cloches or large sheets of fleece handy to protect young plants if late frost is forecast
  • Cut away unwanted suckers growing around the base of trees and shrubs
  • Hoe between rows of veg seedlings regularly, as weeds grow rapidly at this time of year
  • Remove moss and weeds in turf, and boost growth with a nitrogen-rich lawn feed
  • Check that guttering on sheds and greenhouses is clear of debris, so that April showers will fill up water butts
  • Treat problem weeds, such as nettles and brambles
  • Look out for clusters of aphids on shoot tips and young leaves, and wipe off before they multiply 
  • Keep putting out food for birds, as they're busy raising their broods
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