Garden Checklist: April AND a free homemade bug spray recipe!

Farm and Garden Checklist for April! Along with a recipe for a homestead garden pest spray you can use on seedlings too! #homesteader #gardenchecklist

I absolutely love April in the garden! Because by the end of the month most things will be planted by direct seeding and most transplants will be put in!
Confession: I dislike indoor seed starting so I'm happy that is over!
Seeds direct seeded just seem to be so much healthier. There's no hassle to harden them off! No dampening off! No Spider mites! 

But to get a jump on fresh summer veggies here in the southeast it's sometimes the best way to go.
Here's another way...
Garden Checklist April

Wall o'waters! 

These awesome mini greenhouses heat up the ground inside and then protect plants growing inside! One of my favorite ways to get a jump on cucumbers and squash without going through starting seeds inside!

For those started inside its time to start hardening off!! If spider mites have started damaging your seedlings here is a great Homemade bug spray to kill them off! Very easy to make! Mild and won't damage seedlings and it's also good for flea beetles and other garden pests! Will not hurt honey bees. Important to us because we raise keep honey bees!

Homemade Garden Pest Spray

1-quart warm water
1 tsp of mild soap (I use a tiny chunk of unscented donkey milk or goat milk soap and let it melt)
1 oz Neem Oil

Shake Vigorously!! Will be cloudy. Pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use. Spray foliage well. 

Easy, effective and not harmful to our honey bees! I get my neem oil from Amazon

Garden Checklist April

Keep in mind this checklist is for Zone 7. If you are in a different zone you'll need to adjust according to your zone. So now onto the...

Garden Checklist for April

  1. Start Echinacea in a greenhouse or indoors. Can be seeded directly at the end of the month
  2. Garlic best started in the fall but you can get a small crop in the summer from spring started
  3. Set out onions
  4. New Asparagus beds
  5. Direct seed more cool weather crops if needed, such as lettuce and greens
  6. Sow mullein
  7. If you have elderberry trees. Dig up any new elderberry tree starts from the runners (there are usually a lot!)
  8. Set Sweet potatoes in flats for making slips
  9. You start melons indoors (or in wall o'waters)
  10. Start more tomatoes if needed
  11. Direct sow carrots, parsnips, radishes, beets
  12. Transplant any cool weather crops into the garden
  13. On good Friday I plant Beans.. always!
  14. Get trellises ready if you plant climbing veggies
I also like to make sure I have plenty of my Gardener's scrub made up! Free Recipe here DIY Gardener's Scrub
Garden Checklist April

 Our Farm Checklist for April

Honey Bees: April is typically when our honey bees want to swarm! So we try to prepare by setting up an extra hive to have ready. Get the bee suits out! Unfamiliar with swarms? Check out this article How to catch a swarm
Farm and Garden checklist April

Pasture improvement: This mouth the pastures should start really greening up! All our seed improvements should start coming in. So I have to watch that the horses and donkeys stay off the new grasses until the are established. Since I have easy keepers I have to start taking digital pulse and managing how much time they are allowed to eat the fresh spring grasses. Don't want anyone to founder or develop laminitis! If you are unfamiliar with managing easy keepers here is a good article Prevent Laminitis

Training my homestead horses: Training is in full swing. I've got plans laid out and hopefully enough dry days to get everyone's time in! Here are some FREE horse training journal pages and a post on making a training plan and goals Training Horses with Goals and a Plan

horse training journal

Enjoy April!

It is often easy to get caught up in how busy spring is on a farm that you forget to enjoy it. Training horses helps me enjoy the spring more than I did without them! Just yet another reason to have miniature working farm horses! If you need more reasons just out this post Reasons to have a Miniature Horse on your Homestead I don't look at training as work though. In the past when the farm was more high input livestock such as dairy ruminants and poultry it was all a blur of work than summer hit! Spring can be so short in the southeast! Don't let it pass you by without being thankful and making some sort of recreation time!

reasons to have miniature horses
My Miniature mare Dreamy helping by packing 10 pounds of fertilizer for the fruit trees on the other side of our property. Was a big help that day and my miniature horses love to have a job.

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