Welcome Spring! Finally! But is it, really? As you probably know by now, where we live, it still snows in springtime. Our last frost could come as late as June. There is hope, however! Check out these April Gardening Tips to see what you can start doing now.
1- Get your clean-up DONE.(as much as possible) If you live in a warm-ish climate, now is the time to finish your garden cleaning so you can make a little planting happen.
Perhaps you are in an area like mine, where snow is the norm for most of the year.
If that’s the case, get out there whenever you have an opportunity! Squeeze small tasks into a few minutes at a time. Make sure you know where your tools are, for example. (Just in case you didn’t gather them up to organize and clean back in January!)
2- Add compost to your planting beds. If you use mulch, you can add some toward the end of the month as well. And, if you add soil amendments, now is the time-the time is now!
We generally follow the No Dig type of gardening, but we have, in the past, done tilling.
I highly recommend it! Honestly, if you are interested in Permaculture, the No Dig Method works so well. Not only are you not disturbing all sorts of valuable components in the soil, you’re making your life SO. MUCH. EASIER!
3- Start your cold-friendly plants like: peas, beans, and broccoli. If necessary, make little greenhouses for them out of mason jars or re-purposed plastic jugs.
4- By the end of the month (If you have some thawed areas in the ground), your tulips or hyacinths in pots can now be transplanted into your garden beds. I find this works better than planting the bulbs for these flowers in the fall. Critters tend to dig up the bulbs and feast on them during the off-season. After planting, you can spray the flowers and foliage with an organic, non-toxic repellent to discourage the wildlife munchies.
Here’s a quick recipe:
2 Cups of water
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons of hot chili pepper sauce
2 Tablespoons of cayenne pepper
Puree all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Let the mixture sit for a couple of days until it becomes very pungent. If you want to use it as a spray, strain the chunky bits out and put the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray it all around the plants that are being victimized. Otherwise, just pour it around the plants full strength without straining. The key is reapplication! Don’t go more than a couple of weeks without reapplying, more often if it rains!
***This recipe is also available in the FREE DOWNLOADABLE E-BOOK OF A YEAR’S-WORTH OF MONTHLY GARDEN TIPS!
5- If trees are in your planting plans for this year, this could be a good time to get them in the ground.
If the ground is still frozen, wait until May.
Check it every week (or day) until the shovel works.
Just be careful not to dislocate your shoulder or anything like that!
6- If you have some available space to tuck some flowers here and there, plant some annuals! They not only look lovely, they re-invigorate the soil.
7- Depending on your zone, you can begin hardening off your seedlings.
I put mine outdoors during the day if the weather is favorable.
Then I bring them in at night to a cooler part of the house(in my case, that’s the mudroom).
As it stays warmer at night, I leave them out for longer periods.
8- Do you have raised beds? You might be able to get more things in the ground early.
I have a friend who puts her tomatoes in the garden in April, whereas most people around here wait until Memorial Day weekend in May.
She keeps them draped with greenhouse-type fabric or plastic if there is a threat of frost, and watches them closely.
9- Add your own tasks as needed. Get excited because the warmer season is nearing.
I hope you’ve found these April Gardening Tips helpful. Do you have any special tips for gardening in April? I’d love to know!
Wishing you many blessings!