Michael Coulter’s Top Tasks

April is a busy month in the garden with the start of Autumn and cooler nights mean that we must get ready for the coming Winter.

The Summer annuals are at the end of their flowering season so they need to be removed and the ground worked over and rested before planting Spring flowering plants.

Harvest time in the vegetable garden for many of the Summer crops is drawing to a close so any unused ground can be planted in green crops for the Winter to improve the soil for next season.

After fruit has been picked it is a good idea to give the trees a clean up spray before the leaves fall to help control pest and diseases next season. Lawns can now be given some repairs and fertilisers to get some growth before Winter.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Check Winter brassicas for caterpillars, keep them well watered and fed.
  2. Sow green crops on spare ground.
  3. Remove lower leaves on tomatoes to help ripen the fruit.
  4. Spray stone fruit trees with copper before leaf fall to control leaf curl.
  5. Pick apples as they are ready and still firm so that they will keep better.
  6. Feed leeks to keep them growing well.
  7. Cover grapes from the birds as they will eat them before they are fully ripe.

Flower Garden

  1. Cut back perennials as they finish flowering. Some can be divided up now.
  2. Tie up and disbud chrysanthemums ready for flowering.
  3. Cut back by about 50% dahlias as they finish flowering to build up the tubers.
  4. Give the camellias and fungicide spray to help stop the petal blight later.
  5. Check rhododendrons and viburnums for thrips and treat if needed.
  6. Keep up the water if the weather remains dry.
  7. Plant Spring bulbs.


  1. Treat for weeds and any fungal infections.
  2. Now is a good time to aerate and then top dress and over sow any bare patches.
  3. Lawns can be now de-thatched and fertilised to reinvigorate them.