Gardening Jobs to Do in April

Spring has sprung, and there’s growth all over your garden. All your hard work over the last three months will soon pay off — some of it already is. Keep on top of the chores to ensure a productive garden and avoid a snowball of work as growth increases. Consistent smaller steps make the journey more accomplishable.

There are still loads to sow and other jobs to do. This is not the time to sit back and relax. Although the ground outside still looks relatively bare, you can see the new signs of growth everywhere. So, let’s look at some jobs we can do in the garden during April.

Of course, if you are on the other end of the planet, the Southern Hemisphere, read this April gardening jobs-to-do page as October — adding six months to any given date to coincide with Southern Hemisphere seasons.

Focus on planting seeds, a continual operation of timed successions for each crop. Succession planting allows you always to have replants ready as crops mature. This is especially important for crops with a shorter life expectancy, like lettuce which can germinate at 32°F (0°C) and develop in about 30 days. Having a fresh crop ready every fortnight means planting every two weeks throughout the growth season.

Each month’s Jobs-to-Do article has a common format, and this one is no different:

  • Garden preparation jobs to do.
  • Garden maintenance jobs.
  • Vegetable gardening jobs to do.
  • Fruit garden jobs to do.
  • Indoor and container gardening projects.
  • Ornamental garden jobs to do.
  • A summary of what gardeners should focus on.

Garden Preparation Jobs to Do in April

A person holding gardening tools and preparing the soil in a garden. April gardening jobs to do.
April Garden Preparation Jobs to Do

Get Garden Beds Ready

Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed that many weeds have germinated and grown considerably. Usually, only in areas where you didn’t mulch back in February. Now is the perfect time to address this readiness for planting next month. These weeds can be hoed off if they are small enough. Or put them in the compost if they are a decent size.

Finish Building Support Structures

Within a few weeks, you will put out your peas, beans and gourd, and sweet pea plants. All these crops require some support or trellis to climb. I told you to do this last month; I understand that sometimes we only have time to finish everything. Now you have your last chance or may scramble to do it at planting out time.

April Soil Health Jobs

Apply a good layer of compost or manure to your soil. Six inches will provide an adequate layer for improving the soil and feeding your plants for the coming months. Digging this in is unnecessary as this can disrupt the soil biota already established. Adding organic matter has a host of benefits, including:

  1. Protects the soil from erosion.
  2. Reduces evaporation after watering.
  3. It saves money on input costs.
  4. Feeds the soil microbial life.
  5. It stops the ground from cracking.
  6. Improves water retention and soil tilth.
  7. It aids in drainage and prevents waterlogging.
  8. It helps insulate the soil.

April Garden Maintenance Jobs

A pair of worms eating a leaf. Part of April maintenance tasks include developing a integrated pest management strategy
April Garden Maintenance Jobs

April is buzzing with new life as eggs hatch and new litters emerge. Insects, too, are increasing, so you must have an integrated pest management system in place. In April, termites start to swarm, mole pups are born, and several bird species return to your garden from their wintering grounds in warmer climes.

Integrated Pest Management Strategy

Biological fungicides reduce the risks to applicators and the environment and can be used on edible crops (check the label and for confirmation). They also are generally compatible with beneficial insects (predators, parasites, and beneficial nematodes and improve the uptake of certain nutrients.

Conversely, biological fungicides must be used preventively, for they will not cure diseased plants. Starting with healthy soil and seeds and maintaining good garden sanitation is imperative for the efficacy of these products. Remember that shelf life is shorter than conventional fungicides, and products must be stored under proper conditions to avoid BCA mortality (consult labels).

Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do in April

A display of vegetables growing in partitioned raised beds.
April Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do

Always buy high-quality seeds from a reliable supplier that have been examined for viability, consistent emergence, and germination rates. Ask about the germination rate for the seed lots you buy. Additionally, seeds may be coated, pelleted, primed, or fungicide treated.

Avoid seeds treated with fungicides, as this compromises the endophytes in the seeds. When possible, organic gardeners should only buy their seeds from organic sources. Plan your transplant season seedling timetable and retain thorough records.

Most seeds have ideal germination temperatures. Use open flats or plug trays to sow seeds. Some seeds, like lettuce, should not be covered since they need light to germinate. Vermiculite can be used to cover larger seeds. The seeds should be lightly misted with tempered, warm water after sowing.

The time to transplant seedlings is as soon as they sprout their first true leaves. Avoid extended periods at high temperatures and relative humidity, as this can quickly cause the quality of your seeds to degrade.

How soilless growth media are handled can dramatically influence the air and water available for plant roots. The main objective is maintaining porosity or air space to promote healthy root growth. To increase aeration, add water to peat-based mixes before filling plug trays. The tiniest visible water indicates satisfactory filling moisture when pressed between the fingers.

Most growers work with a weighted moisture content of 45 to 55 percent. Refrain from over-handling your growth media; doing so will result in smaller particle sizes and limit air availability. Lightly fill containers, especially plug trays, and brush the excess media off the top to avoid compaction, which promotes damping-off diseases and poor root growth.

April Vegetable Planting Guide

Plant seeds of cool season crops directly in the garden as soon as the soil dries enough to be worked. When squeezed, the earth should crumble instead of forming a ball. Cool-season crops that can be direct-seeded include peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, and Swiss chard.

Plant transplants of cool-season crops include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and onions.

Plant your choices of the following warm-season or “frost-tender” crops: beans (snap, pole, and lima), cantaloupe, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, field peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon.

It’s best to plant tall-growing crops like okra, pole beans, and corn on the north side of other vegetables to prevent shading. Planting two or more rows of corn for optimal pollination is recommended. Additionally, it’s beneficial to make a second planting of snap beans, corn, and squash within 2 to 3 weeks of the first planting. For lima beans and corn, it’s ideal to plant a succession within 3 to 4 weeks of the first planting.

April is a good time to plant tender herbs.

Fruit Garden Jobs to Do in April

A person pruning a grape vine - part of the April tasks to do
April Fruit Gardening Jobs to Do

It’s time to remove the winter mulch from your strawberries to prepare for the upcoming season. However, it’s a good idea to keep the mulch on hand in case of any late frosts or to help manage pesky weeds. You can also plant or transplant other small fruit like raspberries.

Be sure to prune grape vines by removing dead or weakened limbs and thinning them if necessary. Finally, take the time to repair any trellises that may need support. For crops that were planted earlier, consider side-dressing as previously described.

  • Begin spraying fruit trees as the bloom petals begin to fall.
  • Plant Raspberries.
  • Apply crabgrass control.
  • Loosen mulch on strawberries.
  • Thin fruit for heavy sets.
  • Remove strawberry flowers on plants set this spring. Wait until next year for harvest.
  • Use spray regimen advice for disease and insect control. Follow the label for proper use. Having blemish-free fruits free of insect or disease damage is difficult without using pesticides and fungicides regularly.
  • To avoid sunburn, apply a white interior latex paint coat to the trunks of newly planted fruit trees. This will disappear as the tree matures.
  • Watch for sink bugs and tarnished plant bugs on peach trees.
  • Apple trees are home to leaf rollers – manage them early to prevent an infestation.
  • Bees and other pollinating insects should be protected. Insecticides should not be used on fruit trees that are in blossom.
  • Crabapples and hawthorns are all affected by rust illnesses carried via orange, jelly-like galls on cedar trees.
  • Begin using agricultural streptomycin to spray apples and pears for fire blight.
  • On apples, spider mites and codling moths become active in April.

Indoor And Container Gardening Projects for April

A container garden hosting tomato plants with some ripe fruit showing
April Indoor and Container Gardening Projects

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets brighten up even the dullest-looking area or wall. They allow you to grow beautiful flowers or nutrient-dense vegetables in a usually wasted space. You should now have strong seed starts if you started sowing last month.

This is an ideal opportunity to make up some hanging baskets so the plant’s root systems can establish in the basket while it grows indoors in the tunnel. The great thing about doing it this way is that you can usually hang the basket from the raft poles and allow the plants to grow downwards.

Container Gardening

When you imagine a flourishing garden, you may envision a small area with fertile soil, abundant plants bearing succulent tomatoes and peppers, and busy bees flitting from flower to flower. However, if you live in an urban area, finding such a small plot of land can take time and effort.

Even with this, you can still have pollinators buzzing around and fresh vegetables and herbs growing outside your front door! Container gardening is a flexible method for growing fresh produce in limited space while allowing you to express your creativity.

Choosing the right container is crucial for your crop’s success. While some ready-to-grow kits offer popular vegetables in one-gallon pots, most plants require more space. For instance, tomatoes need a minimum of five gallons, while annual herbs like basil and dill can thrive in one- or two-gallon pots.

It’s essential to ensure containers have drainage to let out excess water. This can be as straightforward as drilling holes into the bottom of a built-in self-watering mechanism.

Moreover, pots and window boxes can greatly add visual appeal to your gardening space. You can find planting containers in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, so feel free to use them to add color and vibrancy to your garden.

Ornamental Gardening Jobs to Do in April

A beautifully landscaped ornamental garden with vibrant flowers in full bloom. April gardening jobs to do.
April Ornamental Gardening Jobs to Do
  • Divide clumps of bulbs or herbaceous perennials to pass along to friends or to expand or rejuvenate garden beds.
  • Choose from various shrubs to add to the landscape now.
  • Consider planting a spring-blooming tree.
  • Mulch helps keep weeds at bay while conserving moisture in dry periods. Organic mulches decompose and enrich the soil with nutrients.
  • Prune flowering shrubberies such as quince, spirea, and forsythia after bloom.
  • Check for junipers, cedars, and arborvitae for bagworms.
  • Check shrubbery for tea scale and control if necessary.

Flower Garden Jobs to Do

April is the time to plant most flowers we enjoy throughout the summer. There was no point in sowing them earlier as we now have around 4-6 weeks before they can go outside, by which point the seed planted now will be the perfect size to be transplanted. Let’s look at the varieties we can sow in April:

FlowerHabitPlanting MethodPlanting Timing
AgastachePerennialSeedEarly April
AlyssumAnnualTransplantLate April
AsclepiasPerennialTransplantLate April
California PoppiesPerennialPlantApril
GaillardiaPerennialTransplantLate April
LobeliaAnnualSeedEarly April
LunariaBiennialPlantEarly April
Morning GloryAnnualPlantLate April
PhysalisAnnualTransplantLate April
RosePerennialTransplantEarly April
ScabiosaAnnualTransplantLate April
Sweet PeasAnnualTransplantApril
WallflowerAnnualPlantEarly April
YarrowPerennialTransplantLate April

New varieties of coleus do well in the sun or shade for warmer climates and provide vivid colors and patterns for months. This is an excellent time to plant bulbs – consider caladium, blood lily, or canna.

April Lawn Care Jobs

If March is the dormancy recovery month, then April is the growth-invigorating month. A short trim, called scarifying, will boost water and air access to the roots. Scarifying also clears some dead moss, but you must manage weed growth.

Aeration through spiking is beneficial because it allows all air, water, and nutrients to get to the roots. April is also an excellent month to overseed your lawn to boost its lushness and fill any barren patches. End the month by applying compost as a top dressing for the best property in the neighborhood.

Lawns need an inch of water per week for soaking — one good watering is better than five sprinkles. You want the water to get to the soil below the grass to boost root depth.

Too much nitrogen causes the lawn to form thatch — preventing water penetration. Don’t be tempted to take a shortcut to a lush lawn. A healthy lawn is possible with care. Don’t let growth get too long. Cutting more than a third of the blade length off per cutting damages the plant, so cut less off more often.

Cut and water in the morning to allow the grass blades to dry in the afternoon sun. Wet lawn (and foliage in general) aids the spread of diseases. Keep weeds under control, removing the whole plant and not allowing any of them to seed.

April Gardeners Focus

Various garden tools laid out on a gardening table. April gardening jobs to do.
Get organized and prioritize essential tasks for a flourishing garden.

Garden preparation jobs to do in April included getting beds ready and finishing making support structures. Raised beds help the soil warm faster, drain better, and improve airflow. Avoid using treated wood to create raised beds.

Garden maintenance jobs in April included starting an integrated pest management strategy, including using biology rather than chemistry to limit risks.

In the Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do in April section, we focused on seed starting, noting that some seeds need light to germinate and should not be covered – like lettuce.

Fruit garden jobs to do in April include grape vine pruning and training. Please avoid spraying fruit trees while they’re still in bloom, as this kills pollinators, something we cannot afford.

This month’s indoor and container gardening projects included starting a hanging basket and considering the benefits of container gardening. As you probably know, I’m an avid supporter of using containers to grow potatoes.

Ornamental garden jobs included the final preparation of your lawn for Spring growth. We also have many flowers that can be added to your garden for an impactful spring season.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)