Gardening Jobs for April by @Diaryofaladygardener
by Martha Tewkesbury on Apr 06, 2023
With spring officially underway gardeners across the UK are overjoyed at the prospects this time of year brings. There’s something about the pastel colours, vibrant greenery and fresh, crisp smell in the air at this time of year that just makes my heart sing. Plus, now that it’s April there are so many more exciting jobs to be done in preparation for the bumper crops of summer. Whilst I really hope for some sunshine, you can guarantee I won’t be at the allotment without my Midnight Blue Outdoor Popover to shelter me from any showers! Here are a few of the jobs I’ll be doing this month:
Weed, mulch and prepare
With the last frost date growing ever closer, it’s time to ensure your beds are ready for fresh plants. I like to give all beds a good weed, digging out any pesky perennial weeds or brambles and hoeing off the annuals before adding a layer of mulch. This year I’ve used a selection of mulches from composted woodchip and manure to my fresh, homemade compost and green manures over the winter to see which ones offer the best results. My ACAI Outdoor Dungarees are the perfect item of clothing for mucky jobs like this as they’ve got lots of packets for my tools, and are bramble-proof and wipe clean - a fantastic feature when you’re doing dirty work!
April is a pretty fantastic month for sowing seeds and this is when I’ll be sowing the bulk of mine. With the average hours of daylight up to an average of 13 per day, the risk of leggy Linda seedlings is significantly reduced, and the temperatures are starting to remain more consistent too. Whilst the past couple of months my window sills have been jam-packed with seedlings, they’re finally being vacated into the greenhouse and cold frames, or even outside to grow big and strong. I’ve already started successionally sowing crops like carrots and beetroots direct and will continue to do so until the summer to elongate the harvesting season as much as possible. A few of the fruits and vegetables I’m most excited to get started this month are pumpkins, squashes and melons.
Spring is a perfect time to sow your wildflower seeds to fill your garden with colour in the summer. One of the best and most fun ways to do this is to create wildflower seed bombs, these are a mix of ¼ cup compost, 2tbs fullers earth (powdered clay), ½ tsp chilli powder, a couple of generous pinches of seeds and a little water to ensure the mixture sticks together. The chilli powder helps to keep the pests away and these are fabulous little gifts for friends or activities to get stuck into with kids. Leave them to dry for a day or two before throwing them in a sunny spot to add colour and a tasty treat for the bees.
Potatoes are one of the most satisfying vegetables to grow as one single potato tuber can become anywhere from 3-10 spuds and they taste truly delicious! You can pick these up readily in garden centres with first earlies, second earlies and maincrops offering a really long season for harvesting. If you’re short on space, potatoes can be grown in pots by adding about 10cm of compost to the bottom of the pot, popping in 1-3 potatoes depending on the size of the pot, and mounding them up with compost once a week to cover the leaves until the pot is full. For those going straight in the ground, I like to use a bulb planter to create a hole for the seed potato, then will mound up the soil over the leaves over the coming months.
Care for your lawn
If you have a lawn in your garden, April is a perfect time to spruce it up. I’ll be giving my small patch of allotment grass a bit of TLC by scarifying it with a rake to get rid of any debris that may be blocking light, giving it a feed and sowing fresh seed on any bare patches. I’ll be taking part in no-mow May too so typically don’t mow the grass before June to ensure that the bees and butterflies can feast on the lawn weeds in the earlier part of the year when there’s less food around for them.
There are plenty of other jobs to keep you busy at this time of year too, whether that’s adding fresh wood chip/bark to paths and borders, giving your shed a spring clean or building a new feature into your space like a fire pit, a swing seat or a new raised bed. Whatever your garden project, ACAI has the ultimate garden garms which fit like a glove and look fab too.
If you’re looking for more inspiration on what can be done in the garden at this time of year, head to @diaryofladygardener!