Hartley Magazine

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April Gardening Guide 101

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  • Fig trees can be pruned to get rid of any branches damaged during winter. Cut back long bare branches to 2 inches to encourage new growth
  • Flowered shoots of hydrangeas and winter jasmine can now be pruned back
  • Evergreen and deciduous shrubs can be pruned back to encourage new growth and ensure optimum health for the upcoming year
  • Peaches and apricot fruitlets should be thinned out as the trees produce more than they can cope with. Thinning should start when fruitlets are the size of large peas
  • Perennials and ornamental grasses should be cut back to make way for new growth
  • Any daffodils and tulips which have finished flowering should now be deheaded


  • Container grown evergreens can be moved to the garden as they establish best in spring
  • Peas, broad beans, root veg, salad and hardy herbs can all be sown from early April
  • Chitted potatoes should now be ready to be planted outside
  • Tomato seeds can be sown indoors. Once all risk of frost has passed, they can be planted outdoors


  • Asparagus spears can be harvested now – this should be done before they reach 18cm
  • Rhubarb can be harvested from early April. Pull the stems rather than cut to avoid the remaining stump from rotting
  • Onions, kale, leeks and broccoli can all be harvested if ready
  • Early sown salad can be harvested now. Cut off the leaves, leaving the plant, to encourage regrowth


  • Roses, fruit trees and shrubs should be mulched after a wet spell to help protect the soil from drying out during hot and dry spells
  • Dig over bare soil with a fertiliser to de-weed and prepare for planting
  • Strawberry plants will be coming out of dormancy. Ensure they are well watered and fed a high potassium fertiliser to encourage growth
  • Clear out your greenhouse of any plant debris and disinfect and wash the benches and glass. Keep the greenhouse ventilated to prevent stale air
  • Climbing roses and, honey suckle and clematis should be tied to their supports to train the plants and support new growth