Jobs to be done in the garden during April.
12th March 2014
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We thought that we would put together a few tips for keeping you keen gardeners busy now that April is here !

Check for emerging self-seeded plants and transplant or pot up before weeding and mulching borders.

Trim lavender and other silver-leaved plants.

Remove old growth from penstemon.

Tidy salvias and lemon verbena once the new shoots appear â Watch out for lily beetles.

Place saucers under container plants to conserve moisture.  Dead-heading naturalised bulbs will keep them vigorous and healthy.

Prick out and pot on seedlings before they become overcrowded.

Remove side shoots and pinch out tendrils on cordon sweet peas.

Divide sprouted dahlia tubers; pot up individual tubers with strong shoots.

Repot container plants that are pot bound, gently loosening rootballs before moving to larger containers.

Lift and divide overgrown waterlilies, replanting divided plants in aquatic compost topped with washed gravel in a planting basket.

Once the soil has warmed up, weed borders and apply a moisture-retaining mulch.

Use fleece to protect young growth from frost.

Stake tall-growing perennials.

Shorten the straggly shoots on camellias after flowering.  Rake moss from the lawn with a spring-time rake towards the end of the month.

Divide pot-grown agapanthus. Though they do like to be crowded, this is necessary from time to time. Remove from pot and use a spade to chop into two or four pieces and plant in fresh compost.


Put brassica collars around cabbages and cauliflowers to deter cabbage root fly and erect low screens around carrots to keep carrot fly at bay.

The first lily beetles will be appearing around now in affected areas. Pick off the bright red beetles and squash them.

Start slug and snail patrol.

Apply a first dose of anti-slug nematodes once soil warms up sufficiently.


Sow sweetcorn, squashes and courgettes now, ready for planting out after the last frost.

Prick out and pot on any seedlings.

Ventilate greenhouses in good weather to prevent a build-up of pests and diseases.

Move young plants from greenhouse to cold frame.

Feed, water and ventilate plants in greenhouses and cold frames.

Introduce biological controls in the greenhouse.


Lift and divide chive plants

Good Friday is the traditional day for maincrop potato planting; it is best done in ground that is well-manured and weed free - Hoe weeds while small.

Sow a small row of salads every two weeks.

Sow carrots and parsnips outdoors for autumn cropping but remember to protect both from carrot fly.

Sow main-crop peas, winter brassicas and beetroot.

Pot on outdoor tomato plants and plant tomatoes in the greenhouse border.

Use a spade to cut away the offshoots from globe artichokes and plant them in well-manured ground.

Prune plum trees.

Check for emerging self-seeded plants and transplant or pot up before weeding and mulching borders.

Cut back sage growth by half to keep it shapely. If it has become leggy, prune hard to within 15cm of the ground.  Prepare runner-bean beds.

Remove flower buds on rhubarb plants.


Lift and divide perennials before new shoots develop.

Prune buddleja bushes to about 30cm to 50cm from the ground.

Put out supports for herbaceous perennials.

Plant trees, shrubs and climbers before the weather warms up.

Deadhead daffodils as soon as the flowers fade, so they don't waste their energy producing seeds. Apply a general feed.  Start trimming your box hedges and topiaries now, or wait another three to four weeks in colder areas.

Thin out old clumps of bamboo to allow this year's shoots lots of space.

Sow hardy annuals, such as calendula and nasturtium, in shallow drills or patches.

For summer evening fragrance, sow night-scented stocks (Matthiola longipetala and M. bicornis).

Repot over-wintered geraniums, pelargoniums and fuchsias into fresh compost and feed them every three weeks. Place outside when danger of frost has passed.

Now's your last chance to plant your summer-flowering bulbs and rhizomes. These include hedychium, gladioli, nerines, eucomis and dahlias, lilies and gladioli.

Give shrubs and roses a feed of slow-release fertiliser (fish, blood and bone).

Start giving houseplants more water.

Sow new lawns, repair bald patches and damaged edges.  

Give your lawn its first cut.

Replenish the top couple of inches of compost and mulch on container plants, and give them a good liquid feed.

Keep on top of weeds.

Plant out early and maincrop potatoes.

Pinch out the tips on sweet peas.

Sow veg like courgette, marrows, tomato and sweetcorn indoors.

Sow runner, broad and French beans, beetroots, carrots, cabbages, salad onions, spinach, herbs and Brussels sprouts outside.

Feed citrus plants with a high-nitrogen feed.

Sow salad, broad beans and peas directly into the soil.

Sow herb seeds in the greenhouse or on the windowsill.

Relax and enjoy !

About the Author

Peter L

Member since: 4th June 2013

An owner of Thebestof Portsmouth, I have lived in Portsmouth and Southsea all my life, so I like to think I have a good idea about what makes us tick. I am passionate about all things Portsmouth and Southsea,...

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