April brings us well into autumn, and the days are now getting shorter.
During this month, temperatures drop, winds ease off and weather may be mild, sunny and warm or damp and rainy, making it ideal planting. While the soil is still warm, it’s a good time to plant trees, shrubs, and herbs, as their roots will have a chance to take hold before winter.
The cyclone season that runs from November to April in the country’s north is waning. Coastal winds are highly changeable at this time of year. This is the transition month between the wet and dry seasons, with less rain and cloudy days. Darwin will average 8-9 days of rainfall for the month.
Things to Do This Month:
- Plant new trees, shrubs, climbers, annuals and perennials.
- Gather and compost autumn leaves.
- Divide overgrown perennials, collect their seeds, prune those that have finished flowering,
- Relocate evergreen shrubs (can be done either in autumn and early spring).
- Prune tall shrubs to reduce their height to better resist winter winds.
- Collect and sow seeds from berry producing trees and shrubs.
- Propagation of hardwood cuttings is done in autumn – prune off 30cm long shoots of current season’s growth, cut off the soft growing tip and the bottom end below a bud, dip end into rooting hormone. Make a ‘slit trench’ by pushing a spade into soil and rocking it back and forth. In clay soil, add some coarse sand for drainage. Put cuttings in so 2/3 is below the soil, and press the soil down around them. Cuttings will root and be ready to plant next autumn.
- Plant cool season green manures in late April (such as rapeseed, broad beans, fenugreek, linseed, lupins, mustard, oats, subclover, and vetch).
- Continue planting garlic, strawberry runners and shallot bulbs.
- Harvest and store root crops – continue lifting beetroot and carrots.
- Cut down asparagus foliage that has turned yellow (if it wasn’t done in March) and top-dress the asparagus crowns with compost or manure.
- Cut back the tops of other perennial vegetables that are beginning to die back.
- Empty compost bins into the garden to prepare soil for next season.
- Cover ponds with netting to prevent autumn leaves rotting in the water. Also, feed the fish less food, as they are less active as the days shortens and uneaten food will foul the water.
Vegetables and Herbs to Grow in April (Tropical Climate)
|April Seeds to Sow and Seedlings to Plant (Tropical Climate Australia)||Sow/Plant||Harvest (weeks)|
|Beans (Dwarf, Bush)||dst||7-10|
|French Tarragon||t||30-40 days|
|NZ Spinach (Warrigal Greens)||s||8-10|
|Potato||plant seed potatoes||15-20|
|Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)||dst||7-12|
|Spring Onions (Bunching Onions)||s||6-10|
|Strawberry (seed)||s||12 months|
|Sweet Potato (Kumara)||plant crowns||15-17|
|Zucchini (Courgette, Marrow)||dst||6-9|
d = sow seeds directly into ground
s = sow seeds into seed tray
ds = sow seeds directly into ground or seed tray
t = transplant seedlings (small plants) into larger pots or plant into ground
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Tropical Climate) – April
To help improve these garden calendars, feedback and additional information from readers is greatly appreciated! Australia’s climate varies considerably, and local knowledge of when particular things need to be done in the garden are most helpful to others living in those area, so please feel free to share.