What are the April garden chores you can accomplish in the north? This list will help guide you to keeping up with your vegetable gardens and flower beds, as well as lawns and general tasks.
Hopefully by April, most of us are experiencing at least some spring weather. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there's always a chance of a hail storm or even frosty mornings, but for the most part, spring is here, flowers are blooming, and the vegetable garden needs planting.
April 15th is the last frost date for our area, so lots of cool-weather crops can be planted out in the vegetable garden. (TIP: knowing your last frost date is key to planting the right plants at the right times - if you don't know yours, go here to find it.)
The next three months are probably the busiest for gardeners - we're trying to catch all the weeds before they get big (and make our lives harder come July and August), get things mulched, plant new shrubs, plants, and edibles, and generally run around like chickens with our heads cut off, ha!
Hopefully this list will help us all take on a slower pace for the chores needed in April. Remember, just pick the priorities for your space, crossing off all the tasks that don't apply to you.
Want all my best vegetable gardening tips and techniques to keep it simple and manageable? (Yes, it CAN be done!) Then grab my ebook, Vegetable Gardening The Easy Way, and you'll be on your way to growing your own food without all the backbreaking work.
Garden Chores by Month for April
Vegetable & Fruit Garden:
- Prep main garden beds for spring & summer planting by weeding and turning in organic material.
- Harden off cool-weather seedlings started indoors (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, etc.).
- Plant starts of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, leeks, & lettuce.
- Plant seeds of carrots, endive, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, turnips, rutabagas.
- Use floating row covers to help protect beets, cabbage family & carrots from insects like leaf miners and cabbage maggots. (I've also found that row covers provide just enough more warmth to allow bigger growth than uncovered vegetables).
- Apply organic fertilizer to cane, bush (blueberries, currants, gooseberries) & trailing berries.
- Mulch perennial vegetables and fruits like asparagus, rhubarb & strawberries with compost or composted manure.
- Feed fruit trees, apply whatever you feel comfortable with to control maggots, etc.
- Prune & shape spring-blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.
- Plant summer blooming tubers like dahlias and gladiolus (if didn't get to it in March)
- Deadhead flowers as they finish blooming.
- Divide perennials that need it (TIP: if your daylilies aren't blooming as much anymore, they need to be divided)
- Continue laying newspaper and mulching your garden beds as you clear them of weeds - you will never be sorry you bit the bullet and spent the time doing this now, trust me on this.
- Apply organic fertilizer to established shrubs, as needed. (TIP: I don't add anything more than the compost topping - it feeds the soil as it breaks down slowly - yay for one thing to check off the list as not needed, right?)
- Plant shrubs and evergreens.
- Fertilize lawns so spring rains can water it into the ground.
- Mow, mow, mow...sigh.
- Edge beds & paths as needed.
- Refresh paths as needed with bark, gravel, etc.
- Bait for slugs (in the PNW, this is probably #1 on our lists!)
- Keep caring for warm weather seedlings indoors: feed a half-strength solution of organic fertilizer or fish emulsion, keep well watered, and raise the light source as they grow. Re-pot as needed to larger pots.
TIP: You can find all my seed-starting tips and tricks in this series-
- Vegetable Garden 101: How to Start Plants from Seeds
- Vegetable Garden 101: Caring For Seedlings at Week 1
- Vegetable Garden 101: Caring for Seedlings at Week 6
Note: This February garden chores list is not comprehensive by any means, but meant to provide a jumping-off point to organizing your garden chores. Feel free to print the list and add any of your own specific chores to the sections.
Need more easy gardening tips?
- Organic Vegetable Gardening 101
- How to Plant a Garden the Easy Care Way
- 5 Steps to Take Now For Your Best Garden Ever (with Free Printables!)
Make This Year's Garden A Success!