April is not just about beautiful flowers and delicious easter eggs, but it’s the best time of year to spend time in the garden planting crops. However, it’s important to be cautious about weather conditions as it tends to be a changeable time of year.
Amongst the sunshine and blue skies you can expect some frost, cold nights, and fluctuating temperatures. So, what can you plant in the garden in April with these climate conditions? And, what other tasks can you do if the weather changes?
Here’s everything you need to know about gardening in April…
The temperatures are ideal for sowing seeds in April which is why many gardeners love this month for getting ahead start on their spring crops. The top thirteen seeds to sow are:
- Salad leaves
- Spring onions
Once you’ve decided on the vegetables you’d like to grow then you have to do a little maintenance to make sure they thrive. For example, if you want to grow them outside then you should invest in some protection such as horticultural fleece or polythene.
You will need to keep your crops warm with this extra layer of protection until the temperatures rise to at least 5-7°C. That way, you can be sure that frost won’t damage your crops.
If you plan on growing pea plants then you’ll also have to consider placing some support structures around the plant. You can use sticks, mesh, or wire netting to keep the plant growing in the right direction and not falling over.
Of course, you should also keep an eye out for pests and diseases.
There are only two pests that you should worry about in April: carrot root fly and slugs/snails. Thankfully, both can be prevented by simple measures that you can take during the growing process.
For carrot fly, you should try and thin out the seeds as much as possible. Alternatively, you can use a thin layer of mesh for extra protection. This should keep carrot flies away from your vegetables and avoid any rotting.
If you discover some slugs or snails strolling around the property then you need to do something straight away. Otherwise, your whole crop could be ruined and no one wants that, do they?
To get rid of snails or slugs you can use chemical-free slug pellets or simply pick them off by hand. Another great tip is to lay down a rough surface like coffee grounds or grit as these insects don’t like rough surfaces and this should scare them away.
Hopefully, you won’t have any problems with these pests but if you do then you know what to do. Doing regular check-ups on your crops can help you get treatment started soon before any long-term damage occurs.
If you’re looking to grow fruit then you can try growing these varieties in April:
For fruit, you should also use protective coverings if the temperatures are still low. You should also do research in case you need to feed your fruit any fertiliser for optimal growth.
Normally, you should have no problems growing fruit at this time of year but there are occasionally a few problems that can happen such as powdery mildew and red spider mites. These are the most common pests to affect fruit growing during this month.
The first sign of powdery mildew is a dust-like appearance on the leaves. If there are any white spots then you might want to give your crops some care. The easiest way to solve this problem is by removing the infected part of the fruit.
Just remember to give the seeds plenty of water so they are moist and won’t encourage powdery mildew to grow.
The other potential pest is red spider mites. These pests are more toxic than powdery mildew so you want to be cautious to avoid them infecting your crops. As they are only 1mm in size it can be hard to spot them…
If you don’t already have a magnifying glass in the house then you should buy one. This will help you examine your crops for any signs of red spider mites. For instance, if there is any discolouration and changes in size then your seeds could be infected.
The best option for treating red spider mites is an organic spray or removing the plants entirely. This should do the trick and stop your crops from the consequences of this pest.
Even though all of these seeds can be sown in April there are other gardening tasks you can do to pass the time if there is a rainy day or you have some downtime.
As the spring takes force in April it might be the first time in months that you can spend a long amount of time outside in nature so you want to make the most of it!
Let’s break down the different sections for vegetables, flowers, and general lawn care if you have a big plot of land.
Gardeners often need to clear the soil of weeds during April after winter has passed. This will help clean your soil and give your fresh seeds the best chance of growing once they’ve been planted.
After you’ve cleared the area of weeds then you’ll want to top up the soil with nutrients. You can do this by adding extra compost or manure. If you’re still experiencing frost in your location then you can cover the soil with a black plastic sheet.
This will keep the soil warm and moist so when the weather improves you can start planting straight away!
Finally, you can start planning your raised beds. This will give your crops extra support and the right environment for sowing your seeds. Then, all you have to do is pick your seeds.
For those people with fruit trees then April is a great time to add mulch to the trunk. This will add some nutritional benefits and make sure your fruit is growing healthily. You can also include some slow-release fertilizer as well.
As well as vegetable and fruit care it’s also an excellent time to look after your lawn.
If you have a large area of land to look after then you’re probably used to cutting grass. However, weeds can also become overgrown in your lawn in the months leading up to April so it’s a great time to take care of any wildflowers and grass that you don’t use.
In addition to this, you can give your grass a general cut in time for spring and the good weather starting. So, you can spend time outside enjoying the sun!
Here are some other things to do in April:
- Get compost bins ready
- Remove dirt and debris from walking paths
- Look over crops for pests and diseases
- Top up bird feeders
As well all know April is also the month of Easter. If you’re lucky enough to get some good weather then you should have some fun activities planned for you and the family.
For the little ones, you can organise an egg roll. This is a time-tested event that children love and it will give you time to chat with your friends and family while they’re busy with the activity. You can do this on a hill or set up a line and race track.
If you don’t have children then you can throw a BBQ and egg painting party. This is a good occasion to meet your friends and plan something fun to celebrate Easter!
As you can see gardening in April is easy. You can try planting some of these fruits and vegetables or spend your days clearing up the land. Whatever you chose you’ll have a great time outdoors this month.
Once you’ve done all the hard work you can sit back and enjoy the spring weather with an exciting egg roll or egg painting session. What could be better than that?
Happy Easter and have fun in your garden this April! You’re going to fall in love with gardening this month.