The Only April Checklist You Need For Your Backyard — "This Will Give You Better Blooms All Year"

This to-do list will help you tackle the garden in April so you have a lush, green and inviting outdoors for spring

A spring garden with a grassy lawn and tulips in a flower bed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's springtime, and the frost-free days are here to stay. This is an exciting period for gardeners as warmer days make it opportune to plant perennials, vegetables, and annuals. This is also a good month to boost emerging plants for the growing seasons ahead.

There's lots to do at this time of year, and to help you prep your backyard, we asked experts to help us with a comprehensive checklist of things to do. Take a look and get to work!

Prep the soil for April garden

redcurrant bush being planted in soil and trowel

(Image credit: Lena Zajchikova/Getty Images)

The first step to a modern garden in April is to prepare the soil. Kat Aul Cervoni, landscape designer and founder of Staghorn NYC and The Cultivation by Kat offers tips:

1. Clear your soil of any weeds.

2. Remove any lingering dead spent growth from perennials

3. Prune away any dead or broken branches on trees, shrubs, and woody plantings

4. Prune back summer-flowering shrubs (that flower on new wood) such as panicle hydrangea, vitex, butterfly bush, and smoke bush to promote a bushier habit and control height

5. Apply an organic slow-release fertilizer such as Espoma Plant-Tone or Dr. Earth to the soil around the base of plantings for a boost of nutrition

6. Refresh mulch as-needed

Plant New Seeds

A pic of small saplings

(Image credit: Getty Images)

'April is an ideal time for sowing vegetable seeds for the most healthy vegetable garden,' says Reese L Robins, gardening expert at Just Pure Gardening. 'This month is particularly significant for starting vegetable seedlings in modular trays, ensuring they'll be ready for transplantation outdoors in May.'

'Seeds such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash are commonly started indoors in April to prepare for outdoor planting,' advises Reese. 'Additionally, you can sow carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and many other vegetables indoors for faster germination, or you can sow them directly outdoors. Remember to check seed packets for specific planting instructions tailored to your area's climate.'

This is also a good time to plant 'sweet peas, marigolds, calendula, zinnia, nicotiana, and foxgloves on the early side to give them a head start before planting them out in the garden,' says Kat.

Invest in New Garden Tools

Gloves and a small shovel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A big key consideration in how to plan a modern garden is getting the right tools to prep the soil, and to maintain the current crop.

'If you’re new to gardening or in need of a tool and gear refresh, now is a great time to purchase these five essentials — gloves, hori-hori, pruners, spade/shovel, kneeling pad (this or knee pads are really a life-saver when doing longer bouts of weeding or planting!),' says Kat.

This aside, a sturdy hand trowel is essential for precise planting tasks. 'Transplanting tool is indispensable for efficiently moving seedlings from trays to the garden bed,' says Reese. 'Spade and shovel are essential for various digging tasks, from planting to soil preparation. A garden saw comes in handy for pruning larger branches and cutting through tough plant material. Propagators for seeds provide a controlled environment for seed germination and early seedling growth. And finally, a tiller is invaluable for tackling tough soil and preparing large areas for planting, where a shovel may not suffice.'

3 products for prepping your garden for April

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.