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Top gardening jobs for April

Enjoy some fresh air and exercise by getting out into your garden

Top gardening jobs for April

Spring is here and it’s time to get busy so your garden looks beautiful this summer. With the extra time on our hands, your garden will be the best it’s ever been.

There’s plenty to do and the good news is that seeds, plants and compost can either be bought at the supermarket while you do your food shop or you can order them all online for home delivery.

For in-depth advice about what to do in your garden each month, subscribe to Which? Gardening for only £5 – either online or by calling 029 2267 0000.

1. Look after your lawn

Grass will be growing quickly with the warmer temperatures, so it will need cutting regularly.

Put the mower blades on the highest setting and gradually lower them over the coming weeks. If you cut too low too quickly, you’ll shock the grass.

Individual weeds can be dug out by hand, rather than treating them with weedkiller.

Moss is best treated by removing what’s causing it, such as shade or compacted soil. If you apply a mosskiller, the moss will just return if the causes aren’t rectified.

Setting lawn mower blades to high for first cut of the season

2. Clean the patio

Get your patio looking great by giving it a clean. It’s surprising just how mucky it can get over winter. Scrubbing with a stiff broom and water will do the job, but for quicker results try a pressure washer.

A patio-cleaner attachment will help avoid you getting wet while you work. Be careful not to turn up the water pressure too high though or you can damage delicate surfaces, such as wooden decking.

Watch our video guide to how to clean your patio with a pressure washer.

Cleaning a patio with a pressure washer

3. Sow veg

At the beginning of April, it’s best to stick to hardy veg, such as:

  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Lettuce
  • Spring onions
  • Leeks
  • Broad beans
  • Coriander

These can either be sown direct where you want to grow them outside or raised in module trays in the greenhouse, ready for planting out when they’re big enough.

Potatoes can be planted either in the ground, in a large pot or even a old compost bag with holes punched in the bottom.

Watch our video about how to grow potatoes.

In mid-April, you can sow veg that doesn’t like the cold, such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Sweetcorn
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash

These should be sown indoors in individual pots. The plants will need to be kept indoors until the danger of frost has passed in mid-May so don’t be in a rush to put them outside.

Discover our Best Buy composts for sowing seeds.

Sowing carrot seed

4. Feed spring bulbs

Spring bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, are busily making the flower buds for next year’s display at the moment, so give them a helping hand by feeding them.

The leaves do a lot of the work, so never tie them up and wait until they turn yellow before cutting them back. It also helps if you cut off the flower stalks when the flowers fade.

Feeding spring bulbs in a border with granular Growmore fertiliser

5. Prune late-winter-flowering shrubs

Forsythia, Viburnum bodnantense and Lonicera purpusii all benefit from pruning. Left untouched, they can grow into large, congested shrubs.

Cut back all stems that flowered to a strong bud at their base and renovate the plant by cutting back a few of the older branches to their base. This encourages fresh growth and reduces the plant’s overall size without losing its attractive, natural shape.

Get more gardening advice on the Which? Gardening Facebook group.

Pruning back the flowering shoots on early-flowering spring shrubs - forsythia
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