What to do in April in the garden

Now we are truly into spring and these are the jobs for April. This is probably the most exciting month in the year, only May can rival April. In April the garden begins to look green an vibrant. The lighter evenings and warmer days enlightens the heart of any gardener.

Gardens are now awash with a vibrant spring display of flowers, but the interest come not only from flowers but also from the new foliage on trees and shrubs. The garden seems transformed into a place of enjoyable life.

Get the mower out

The job that marks the start of spring for many gardeners, mowing the lawn, will soon be a weekly task.
A boring tedious job for some, but a deeply satisfying job for others as the trimmed lawn sets off the rest of the garden so beautifully.

Lawn mower
Lawn mower

Trees and shrubs

Remove any frost damaged stems. Cut them back to a healthy part of the shoot. In colder zones where late frosts may still happen, postpone this job for next month.

This is the time to spray roses against black spot. Use a proper fungicide and plan to have this done at regular intervals, as black spot is difficult to control.

Check new shoots for aphids

The tender new growth is very prone to be attacked by aphids. Act soon and spray the affected zones as soon as you spot them so you can help prevent colonies to spread.

Planting

Plant container grown trees and shrubs. Bare root plants will no longer be available as the growing season just started.

Pruning

Prune shrubs grown for their foliage. The best foliage grows from new shoots so this is the time to prune back.
Forsythias and chaenomeles should be pruned after flowering. These two shrubs put on terrific color in the spring on shoots grown the previous year.

Forsythia flowering in spring
Forsythia flowering in spring

Prune lavenders to make them bushy and compact. Don’t prune into hard wood.

Plant evergreen hedges

This is a good time to plant evergreens. By planting evergreens at this time of the year there is less chance of them being damaged by frost or cold winds.

Control slugs and snails

The warmth and spring rain has now increased the populations of slugs and snails. Use organic control like the popular beer trap or, if you’re not gardening organically, spread some slug pellets between the plants affected.

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