13 Jan

Garden diary - January to April

Published: 2017-01-13


  • If summer is playing the game, it should be hot and dry this month so keep up the watering. In the cool of the morning and as the sun is going down are the most effective times to water, and remember to water the roots – not the leaves.
  • Thin carrots and use rejects in salads. Keep planting more lettuce seedlings as you harvest to keep the summer salad supply going. The cut-and-come-again lettuce varieties are the best.
  • When harvesting tomatoes, keep removing laterals and removing bottom leaves to help air circulate.


  • Leafy green plants will appreciate a feed of compost tea or liquid blood and bone.
  • Leave the best plants to grow and set seed. Harvest them on a dry day and store in a cool place to plant next year.
  • Now is the time to plant the winter garden. Plant seedlings of
    • cabbage,
    • cauliflower,
    • brussel sprouts,
    • celery,
    • silverbeet,
    • spinach and
    • leeks.
  • Keep seedlings well watered and protected from the sun.


  • Plant seedlings of beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach and silverbeet.
  • Sow seeds of carrots, parsnips, radish, lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, beetroot (mild climates only), swede and turnip directly into the garden.
  • Seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are best sown in trays for planting out later.
  • Plant herbs in pots or the garden. Parsley can be grown from seed and sown now. Perennial herbs such as chives, mint, thyme, rosemary, sage and marjoram >can be divided and replanted.
  • Plant daffodils, tulips, irises and freesias in the garden or in containers. Spray your roses to help control pests and diseases.


  • Harvest late summer vegetables – pumpkins, marrows, potatoes, onions. Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Sow seeds of beetroot, broccoli, broad beans, cabbage, carrots, onions, radish, spinach, swedes and turnips.
  • Transplant seedlings of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, leeks, lettuce, silverbeet and spinach.
  • Plant potatoes in frost-free areas.
  • Plant parsley and perennial herbs.
  • April is the time to tidy up the summer flowering annuals.
  • It’s also a good time for planting trees and shrubs.
  • Deadhead roses as autumn flowers finish. Plan new rose plantings and give existing roses a side dressing of fertiliser.
  • Mulch all trees, shrubs and roses.
  • This is the best month for sowing new lawns and rejuvenating existing ones.