This post will detail April garden tasks for the kitchen garden. There’s a FREE download to help you keep track of what’s done, needs attention, and is just around the corner in your kitchen garden.
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April Garden Tasks
Winter has held on tight this year, so April garden tasks are looking much more like March garden tasks here in Harpers Ferry, WV. This is plant hardiness zone 6a and the April Garden Task List is good for Zones 6 and 7.
Not familiar with Plant Hardiness Zones?
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map – The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. click the hotlink to learn about your zones and how to help plants succeed in your kitchen garden.
After a lovely weekend with temperatures in the 80s, I am staring at the prospect of a frost Monday and Tuesday nights. This will be particularly hard on our blossoming peach and plum trees. Our orchard is small and we do not take measures to protect the fruit trees from frost. I am hoping there is enough of a breeze to keep the frost damage light. Our frost date is Mother’s Day. Every year for the past 9 years, there has been a hard frost on Mother’s Day weekend and Bob and I have had a hard push of work protecting early crops. This year, we are working with the seasons and have very few summer crops planted in the garden.
Instead, my April Garden Tasks include preparing for the arrival of my bees. I have cleaned and repaired my hives and learned how to build new hives from scratch. I have selected what is hopefully the perfect place for the 2 hives and scatted several seed bombs over the property to help boost their food source. If you are a beekeeper, you may be looking at a similar task list this April:
- Order bees for new hives.
- Inspect, clean and repair hives.
- Inspect, clean and repair equipment.
- Install bees and treat for varroa mites.
- Set a regular schedule for weekly inspection through October.
We offer the opportunity to participate in a virtual apiary. If you are concerned about the plight of the honey bee and would like to do something practical to help, click here to learn more.
April Garden Tasks Zones 6 and 7
This list assumes you have an existing garden that needs attention and preparation for a healthy and abundant growing season. If you are starting a new garden, then you’ll need to add building raised beds and conditioning the soil to your list. This task list complements the seed starting and planting schedule found in the seasonal living resource library. The resources are plentiful and free, so please consider joining!
Here are ten garden tasks to keep you busy in the garden this April:
- Clean all plant materials in raised beds that are not for harvest. Our brussels sprouts bolted after the last warm spell, so out they come. This really hurts as they were looking fantastic and just about ready for harvest.
- Remove frost-damaged leaves and fertilize plants that have been hit by frost in April.
- Clean all remaining plant materials from beds to minimize pest and disease threats to new crops.
- Fertilize existing cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards with fish emulsion.
- Direct seed: beets, celery, lettuce mix, carrots, radishes.
- Finish planting the first succession of potatoes. You can keep planting potatoes through May.
- Transplant: lettuce, leeks, onion starts, brussels sprouts.
- Pot up: tomatoes and peppers.
- If you use agribon, also called floating row cover, to protect your plants from frost and bugs, you’ll need to weed them. Chickweed, false nettle, and dandelions are very happy under this protective fabric in April.
- Till and amend your soil using organic compost and fertilizer. I have a small household soil test kit that helps me have a general sense of what each raised bed needs.
Be sure to shop my April favorites!
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