Things To Do In April: Embracing April As A Gardener

Things To Do In April: Embracing April As A Gardener

April is here, spring is underway, and it’s time to start thinking about things to do this month.

It’s the perfect time to get serious about the growing season, as packaged bulbs will be ready in a couple of weeks and the ground should be ready to plant as we get over the frost season.

It’s also time to think about adding any soil amendments that you want like peat moss organic matter, compost, sheep manure, and other organic soil material. You can add these to the beds and get them all fluffed up and ready to plant. It’s an exciting time.

In this blog post, you’ll also learn more about other things to do in April so that you can set yourself up to have your best season yet.

Planting Bulbs, Tubers, And Seeds

Summer blooming bulbs or tubers are all a little bit different, but some of them can be planted directly outdoors. For others, you’ll want to wait till about two weeks before April before the last frost. Some varieties, like lily bulbs, are hardy and can be planted as soon as they are available. Then you have more tender plants, such as Dahlias, that should be planted about two weeks before the last expected frost. To protect early sprouts from unexpected frosts, repurpose old plant pots or plastic jugs as makeshift cloches to shield them overnight.

For things like lettuce and radish, which are such a quick crop, you want to plant them about every two weeks. By doing that, you’ll always have a continuous harvest of these quick-growing crops throughout the season.

Preparing The Soil

Let’s talk about preparing the soil. As the ground thaws and becomes workable, one of the first steps is to prepare your soil. This involves turning over your flower beds and incorporating soil amendments. As we’ve discussed, things like adding peat moss organic matter, compost, or aged manure can really improve soil structure and fertility.

These amendments not only enhance the soil’s ability to retain moisture but also improve aeration, making it an ideal environment for plant roots to thrive.

Support Structures

This month is also the ideal time to install support structures for perennials and other plants that need them. By placing trellises, cages, or stakes early, plants can grow through them, minimizing disturbance and damage. This proactive step saves time and avoids the frustration of adding support to mature plants.

Pruning And Maintenance

Prune any plants that bloom after June, not before. If you prune Forsythia and things that bloom really early, you’re cutting off your flower buds. Then you also have your tool maintenance. Regular maintenance—including sharpening and oiling gardening tools, checking lawn mower blades, and organizing your gardening supplies—sets the stage for a productive season.

Hardening Off Seedlings

If you’ve started seedlings indoors, begin the hardening-off process on mild days to acclimate them to outdoor conditions. This gradual introduction to direct sunlight, wind, and varying temperatures helps prevent shock. This is going to allow your plants to transition smoothly from the controlled environment of your home to the unpredictable weather outdoors. Ideally, you would do this on a day when the temperature is above six degrees Celsius.

Fruit Trees And Bushes

The selection of fruit trees and bushes is at its best in April. Planting apple trees, cherry trees, pear trees, and blueberry bushes this month takes advantage of the wide variety available and gives your plants a full season to get established. You can also plant your trees and shrubs and evergreens any time after the ground is thawed out from the winter.

Perennial Care

When purchasing perennials from a garden center, especially those kept in a greenhouse or cold frame, it’s essential to harden them off just as you would with your seedlings. This step ensures they are acclimated to your garden’s specific conditions, reducing transplant shock and promoting stronger growth. How you care for your perennials and how they are planted is going to dictate how well they will grow. They can add so much color and fill your garden beautifully if you do this right.

Time For Cleanup

Overall, April is a great time for cleanup. While many people say that it’s really important to wait until the risk of frost has passed to protect beneficial insects when raking, it has to be done. You have to clean up and get ready for the season. You’ll also want to remove debris and old growth from your beds to prepare your garden for new planting. This cleanup tidies your garden and reduces the risk of harmful pests and diseases.

April is a month full of promise and preparation. It’s a really exciting time for us, and we hope that this blog will help you feel ready for the upcoming season.

Happy gardening!