April Gardening To-Do List

Monthly Chores for Each Region

Florist preparing flower pot for plant
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Spending April in the garden is something you may look forward to but the range in temperatures and number of rainy days can delay the best of intentions. Spring is in full swing in the South in April. In the North, the season can't make up its mind whether it is here to stay or still has some winter left—but it's best to have a to-do list ready for good weather days. Regardless of how raw it feels outside some days though, your plants and trees are confidently powering forward in spring mode.

Here's a list of tasks to tackle in the garden in April, region by region, so you can take advantage of the good weather.

All Regions


Spring will have completely sprung in April, for the most part. But some days will still be much nicer than others for working in the garden. Take advantage of those days and get some work done.

  • Sow seed outdoors for all but transplanted vegetables that you've started indoors.
  • Prune rose bushes before bud break. This may be your last chance.
  • This is your final opportunity to plant trees and shrubs without risking the chance that they will have to deal with hot weather before they become established.
  • Once nighttime temperatures consistently stay above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, transplant hardy annuals.


April will bring good and bad weather to the Midwest, so do not miss out on getting your gardening tasks done on the good days.

  • Finish spring cleaning the flower beds.
  • Direct sow cool-season vegetables and flowers once you can work the soil easily.
  • Start to harden off cool-season seedlings that you will transplant at the end of the month.
  • Divide perennials as needed.


April brings hope to gardeners in the Northeast, but also frustration. Not every day will be pleasant weatherwise, so bundle up as needed to get your gardening work done. That way, when temperatures suddenly skyrocket, you can relax in the sun instead of working in the garden.

  • Direct sow cool-season vegetables and flowers once you can work the soil easily.
  • Start to harden off cool-season seedlings that you will transplant at the end of the month.
  • Divide perennials as needed.
  • Where the foliage of early perennials and bulb plants is poking up through the soil, remove enough of the mulch on top of them so that they can emerge unimpeded.

Pacific Northwest

You will experience moderate temperatures in this region in April but do not put away the row covers just yet. It will still be wet, but drier times are on the way.

  • Till under cover crops.
  • Once the soil dries out some, set out the transplants that you started indoors from seed.
  • Direct sow leafy crops outdoors.
  • Divide perennials while it is still wet in the garden.

Pacific Coast

April is one of the most pleasant times of the year to garden in Northern California. You tend to have low humidity, lots of sunny days, and less rain than you have had in the prior months. In Southern California, you usually have about three to four days of rain in April, an average high temperature in the low 70s, and an average low temperature in the low 50s.

In Northern California:

  • Plant warm-season plants.
  • Fertilize perennials.
  • Add mulch where necessary, particularly around the roots of your trees and bushes.

In Southern California:

  • Check mulch levels and add mulch as needed.
  • Start planting tropical plants outdoors.
  • Plant any perennials that you have not already planted outdoors.


It's getting hot in your region. Some of your plants love it, but so do certain plant pests.


In the high desert, expect the average temperature to rise to the mid-60s and fall into the mid-30s. That's cold enough to require you to protect tender plants some nights. You can still get some snow, yet you are likely to get only four days of rain. In the low desert, count on dry weather with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

  • Mulching is a balancing act. Remove mulch so that plants can push up unimpeded, but add mulch where it is needed yet lacking, especially around tree and shrub roots.
  • Fertilize perennials.
  • Plant warm-season plants.


April is a great time to garden in most parts of the Southeast. Temperatures are still moderate, and there is enough rain to keep your plants happy but not so much that you will be miserable working out in the garden. Do not put away the row covers just yet, as you can still get the occasional cold night.

  • Stake tall perennials such as hollyhocks before they get too big and start flopping over.
  • Finish pruning rose bushes.
  • (Late April:) Direct sow the seed of warm-season vegetables.
  • (Late April:) Start transplanting the seedlings of warm-season plants outdoors as soon as nighttime temperatures are consistently hovering above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilize bulbs when they are done blooming but do not cut back the leaves until they start to turn yellow.


Florida generally sees April temperatures rise to the low 80s and fall to the 60s—and even into the 50s in some areas. The state averages four to eight rainy days in April.