April 2024 Gardening To-Do List: Prepping the Garden for Spring

As the buds of spring begin to unfurl, it's time for gardeners to roll up their sleeves and embrace the tasks that will set the stage for a season of lush growth and vibrant blooms. With a well-organized plan in hand, you can tackle each aspect of garden preparation with confidence, ensuring healthy plants and bountiful harvests. Let's delve into our April gardening to-do list, designed to guide you through the essential steps for a thriving garden.

Preparation and Planning

Before diving into the physical tasks of gardening, take a moment to assess your garden's conditions post-winter. Plan the layout of your planting beds and surrounding areas, envisioning the placement of each variety for optimal growth and aesthetic appeal. Now is the time to procure any necessary seeds, plants, and gardening supplies to avoid last-minute rushes.

Soil Preparation

Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful garden. Test your soil's pH and amend it as needed, utilizing resources such as A & L Great Lakes Laboratory for comprehensive soil analysis. Enhance soil fertility by incorporating compost or organic matter and aerate the soil in your planting beds to promote robust root development.

Seed Starting and Transplanting

Kickstart the growing season by starting seeds indoors for warm-season vegetables and flowers. If you've already begun this process in previous months, consider transplanting seedlings into larger containers to accommodate their growing roots. Remember to gradually acclimate seedlings to outdoor conditions before transplanting them into the garden.


With soil prepared and seedlings ready, it's time to get planting. Direct sow cool-season crops like peas, spinach, and lettuce, while also planting cold-hardy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Set out transplants for frost-tolerant plants like onions and potatoes, ensuring they have a head start on the growing season.

Perennial Care

Take care of your perennial plants by dividing and transplanting them as needed. Trim back any remaining winter foliage and apply a layer of mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth around perennial beds.

Pruning and Maintenance

Prune fruit trees and shrubs before new growth emerges to shape and encourage healthy branching. Remove any dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs, and take the time to clean and sharpen your gardening tools for the season ahead.

Pest and Disease Management

Vigilance is key in pest and disease management. Monitor your garden regularly for early signs of infestation or disease, employing preventative or curative measures as needed. Implement cultural practices that discourage common garden pests and diseases to maintain a healthy ecosystem.


Monitor soil moisture levels and water your garden accordingly, paying special attention to newly planted seeds and transplants. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth, and consider installing a rain gauge to track rainfall on your property.


As new growth emerges, apply a balanced fertilizer to perennial plants to support their development. Side-dress vegetables with fertilizer once they are established, and start lawn fertilization with pre-emergent weed control by mid-April for a lush, healthy lawn.

General Garden Care

Keep your garden beds tidy by regularly removing weeds and maintaining pathways and borders. Stay vigilant for late frosts and protect tender plants accordingly to prevent damage.

Record Keeping

Maintain a gardening journal to track planting dates, varieties, and any issues encountered throughout the season. Take photographs of your garden's progress for reference and inspiration as you continue to nurture and cultivate your green space.

Continuous Learning

Expand your gardening knowledge by attending lectures, webinars, and workshops offered by resources like Chalet. Experiment with new plant varieties and gardening techniques, and stay updated on seasonal tips and practices specific to your hardiness zone. 

By following this comprehensive April gardening to-do list, you'll set the stage for a successful growing season ahead. With careful planning, diligent maintenance, and a touch of creativity, your garden will flourish, providing beauty, sustenance, and joy throughout the months to come. Happy gardening!

Jennifer Brennan

Chalet Horticulturist