Your Essential Guide to Gardening in April

Despite there still being a crisp chill in the air, spring has finally arrived! The promise of flowers soon to blossom and leaves beginning to spurt from the bare branches means that there has never been a better time to escape into the garden and get your hands dirty.

April is the perfect time to begin preparing for the warmer months that are (hopefully) about to come and, after a long, rainy winter, spending some time outside is a lovely weekend activity for you to partake in. Having spent the last couple of months gazing at your outdoor space, it can be tempting to dive into the task headfirst, chopping, weeding and pruning away; however, it is essential to take your time if you want the best results.

Removing debris
Cleaning up your garden is the first step that you’ll want to have under control. The colder months most likely brought with them piles of debris that is now scattered across your grass, so sweeping these up will allow you to begin with a tidy canvas for you to work with. Depending on the plants that currently live in your garden, weeding in April may be slightly premature. This is because many of your older plants will be in the process of growing, and you may end up digging up or breaking their delicate strands that you can’t quite see just yet. Instead, work on the areas that you know need weeding; unwanted ivy can grow wild over the course of the winter and deciduous grasses can take up residence in your flower beds.

Although it is suggested that you should apply your mulch during the early winter, it is also crucial that you add back any moisture to the soil that you can when spring comes around. Using compost or manure is a fantastic way to do this and adds any nutrients that may have been lost over winter. Pay particularly close attention to the area around your trees and shrubs, as these will benefit from this the most, and apply the mixture a few inches away from the plant stems. This will prevent them from rotting but will also prevent any diseases that they’re likely to contract.

It’s more than likely that your plants and flowers will need trimming, as no doubt they have been neglected due to the drop in temperature that the country has experienced since November. To make sure that you’re only trimming what is necessary, take a look at what is already growing, as plants should be pruned the second that they start to bloom to prevent any future flowers from being lost.

While you’re tending to your flowers in bloom, make your way around towards any herbaceous perennials that may be growing in your garden planters. Taking basal cuttings allows you to cultivate new plants, so is important if you’re looking to expand your current herb garden. Taking these cuttings is easy and requires you to take a sharp knife to the lower leaves of the plant, gently slicing them away.

For most plants and flowers, April is still too early for them to flourish in your garden. However, there are many spring bulbs, such as daffodils and hyacinths that are perfect for this time of year, as well as perennials which are perfect all year-round and are an excellent investment.

Your lawn can suffer the most due to the change in climate and maybe looking particularly sparse in some areas. To amend this, April is the perfect time to start paying it the attention it deserves. To begin, mowing the lawn makes it uniform and improves its overall health, allowing it to grow better. It also makes it easier when it comes to killing moss and weeding the ground, removing anything that could be seen as detrimental to the health of your grass.

Usually, late autumn is the optimal time for sowing seeds to generate new growth in your grass, but if you recognise some patches that need some help then now is the time. Before you do this, it is essential that you break up the ground, raking in the seeds to saturate the area. Within two weeks, you should begin to see the new grass grow, so keep a lookout.