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What To Do In Your Vegetable Garden This April (Mid-Spring)
Here’s the number one vegetable garden checklist item for April:
Start a vegetable garden journal.
- Choose a format that you’ll actually use (paper or electronic).
- The longer you keep a journal, the more you’ll learn about your garden.
- You can look back and see how certain vegetables performed in your garden, like which tomatoes produced the most, and tasted the best.
So consider starting a garden journal now.
It’ll become a prized resource.
April is a busy time in the garden, no question, but my vegetable garden checklist will help you keep on top of things!
Vegetable Gardening Tasks for April
- Warm up your garden soil with UV-stabilized clear plastic a week or two before planting. Clear plastic works better than black plastic to warm the soil. Remove it as soon as you’re ready to plant.
- Start seeds of warm-season plants (including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, cucumber, melons, gourds, winter squash, and summer squash) indoors for transplanting later to the garden.
- Direct-sow cool-season crops: peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, and Swiss chard.
- Put up a trellis for tall varieties of peas as soon as they sprout.
- Seed a second crop of lettuce (start the seeds indoors or sow them directly in the garden).
- Harden off and set out transplants of cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and onions.
- Plant or transplant asparagus and rhubarb crowns. For best plant establishment, don’t harvest until the third year after planting.
- Plant certified, disease-free potato “seed” tubers.
- Weed your vegetable beds.
- Handpick and destroy asparagus beetles.
- If your rhubarb develops flower stalks remove them.
- When the ground is warm and dry, transplant early tomatoes outdoors, inside protective Wall O’ Waters. When squeezed, soil should crumble instead of forming a ball.
- Place cutworm collars around seedlings if needed.
- Care for seedlings growing indoors.
- Shear onion seedlings back to 2-3″ tall if they’re getting floppy.
Fruit Garden To-Dos for April
- Apply a pre-bloom, multipurpose orchard spray to fruit trees.
- Plant or transplant small fruit: strawberries, raspberries, and other small fruit.
- If planting new strawberries pinch off all the first-year flowers from June bearers to help develop strong root systems. Everbearing and day-neutral varieties can be allowed to develop flowers starting in July. For more info, see answers to frequently asked strawberry questions.
- Remove winter mulch from strawberries, but keep mulch handy in case late frosts are predicted and to help keep weeds under control.
- Fertilize established fruits with a thin layer of compost.
- Prune grape vines to remove dead or weakened limbs and to thin as needed.
- Weed around all fruiting plants.
- Protect fruit blossoms from late freezing temperatures.
- Prune peaches and nectarines now.
- Remove tree wraps from fruit trees.