The arrival of spring can only mean one thing… it’s time to find out what to do in the garden in April! And, as always, we are here to help with some expert tips and advice to make sure your garden is in great shape coming into the summer months.

The clocks go forward at the end of March, so that that extra hour or so of daylight will really make a difference this month. British Summer Time officially begins in April (although, it doesn’t always feel like it!), but it is definitely time to get out in the garden and start preparing for the coming months. Spring sometimes takes a little while to get going, so make the most of any nice days as there’s plenty to do – pruning, feeding, weeding – there’s no rest for us green-fingered folk.

Read on to read our pick of what you should be doing in your garden this month… 

Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Author: Martin Hirtreiter

Top tips for what to do in your garden in April…

– It’s time for some dead-heading. Although those daffodils may have been glorious throughout February and March, in April you’ll start to notice they are starting to look a little faded. It’s time to dead-head these, along with any pansies and violas. When you dead-head the the daffodils leave the foliage intact and let them die back naturally – this means they will produce an even better display next year.

– Prepare for planting! If the ground isn’t too wet then start by digging a 5cm deep layer of rotted manure, compost or green waste into your beds is the perfect preparation for any new introductions.

– Plant your summer flowering bulbs – especially lilies: plant these into well drained soil or pots. Remember that is the soil is heavy, then you can add grit or sharp sand to the hole. Also plant your gladioli by the end of the month in a position that will get lots of sunlight throughout the day.

– You’ll need to be on snail and slug patrol this month!

– Thinking of vegetables, if the weather isn’t too chilly then you can being to sow some seeds outside. Start with carrots, spinach, parsnips, swede, rocket, runner beans and broad beans. It’s also not too late to start an asparagus bed if you sort it early in the month. In the greenhouse you can sow kale, leeks, cauliflower, mangetout, squash and pumpkins. It’s sure to be a busy month of sowing!

– Plant out your strawberry beds making sure that the soil has been enriched with well-rotted manure beforehand. Also protect your fruit blossoms by covering them as there may still be some frosts on cooler nights.

Thompson and Morgan picture

– Do you love a hanging basket? You can plant them this month, but if you’re using frost-tender plants keep your planted baskets in the greenhouse to grow on until the last frosts have past. Plus, if you haven’t yet, be sure to give your greenhouse a good scrub to make sure as much light as possible is coming in through the windows.

– Remove any ivy that is growing on vertical surfaces and in your borders – this can harbour snails. There will also be lots of general weeding to be done in your garden this month – we like to have the attitude ‘little and often’ towards weeding to make sure it never gets out of control.

– The birds will be building their nests around this time in preparation for laying their eggs, so, continue to fill your bird feeders as they’ll become very used to visiting your garden for some food. Plus, you’ll get to see plenty of wild birds which is such a lovely sight!

– Do you have some bare patches on your lawn? Now is the time to repair them – and, apply a high-nitrogen fertiliser to your lawn to give it a real boost before summer.