With the sun (hopefully!) shining and garden gatherings now back on the cards, April is well and truly the month to get cracking with your gardening to-do list. Spring buds are starting to bloom, veg needs planting for an autumn harvest and the grass is shooting up, so it's important to keep on top of things before the full spectacle of summer arrives.
Even more excitingly, we can have guests round in our gardens again, so what better time to show off a display of delightful flowers and foliage? Be sure to check out our top picks for garden furniture this season too!
If you're not sure where to start with your garden, we've got you covered. From mowing the lawn to planting hardy perennials, here are four gardening jobs to keep busy with this month.
For garden tasks to keep you busy all year round, check out all our monthly gardening jobs lists!
Things to do in the garden in April
Mow your lawn
Pick a fine day to lavish your lawn with the attention it deserves after months of harsh weather. The rate at which the grass grows increases as the length of daylight hours extends so you will need to begin mowing on a regular basis. Keep the blades high for the first few cuts and lower them as the season gets underway.
Administer a fertiliser to increase the strength and vigour of the blades of grass. Organic CleanLawn from Neudorff is made from 100 per cent natural, raw materials and is therefore safe for children and pets.
Growing veg from scratch is not only rewarding - it's healthy and cheap too! Now is a great time to plant carrot seeds. If you want perfectly formed, straight carrots, grow the seeds in extra deep containers filled with free-draining soil.
You can repurpose old chimney pots or recycle metal bins by adding drainage holes for this task, as they provide a generous depth for the tap roots to extend into.
Add hardy perennial plants
When the planting scheme in your garden looks a bit sparse, increase the stock of hardy perennials by lifting and dividing established clumps among your beds or grow your own from seed. A packet of seeds can be bought for far less than the price of a single plant, making this a great option if you are working to a tight budget.
- Dead-head daffodils but leave their foliage intact after flowering to allow nutrients to feed back into the bulbs
- Position flowers with dep red-purple blooms in a spot that needs a burst of drama
- Now’s the time to plant hardy summer flowering bulbs and corms outside, such as Oriental lilies and Crocosmia, for colour later in the season
Look for perennials that flower in their first year, such as Verbena bonariensis, Catananche caerulea ‘Cupid’s Dart’ and Centranthus ruber. Unlike annuals that flower, set seed and die in the same year, hardy, herbaceous perennials live for a number of years, many for decades.
Don't cut back hedges - yet!
Avoid cutting hedges and thick, evergreen shrubs from now until at least the end of July because this is the main breeding season for nesting birds. Robins in particular often choose to make their nests in the strangest of places; be on the lookout when you’re pottering in the garden!
Words by Louise Midgley. Photos by iBulb.
This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Your Home magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?