Cold and dark has given way to warmth and light, and whether your canvas is a sprawling landscape or a cosy nook, each fruit, vegetable or flower is a signal of spring kickstarting our gardens back into life. Whether you dream of biting into a crisp apple picked from your own tree, enjoying the vivid beauty of spring flowers, or savouring the earthy taste of homegrown potatoes, the journey starts with understanding what seeds to plant in April.
From the biggest spaces to the smallest window boxes, every home and garden holds the promise of a bountiful return, so let’s look at what to plant in April in the UK including what bulbs to plant in April for a vivid splash of creative colour.
Garden Maintenance in April
Before you go through your list of what flowers to plant in April, there are a few gardening jobs that need looking after now the weather has warmed up a bit.
Weeds are going to start to rear their heads so it’s advisable to keep them under control before they get out of hand. The warmer temperatures also bring out pests and diseases so keep an eye out and treat them as required.
Make sure your guttering is free of debris, so the famous April showers refill your water butts, and if there’s an unusually late frost, have some spare cloches or fleeces available to protect young or fragile plants.
Among the more general gardening jobs for April, is ensuring that birds are well fed and watered because they rear their young around this time of year.
What to Plant in April - Vegetables
April is the month where you can really motor ahead with your sowing schedule and there’s an amazing amount of choice when deciding what seeds to plant in April.
Beetroot is an ideal cool-weather vegetable and if you space out the sowing over a few weeks, you’ll get a longer harvest period over the summer. The same goes for radishes. If it’s still a bit cold, you can start cucumbers in the greenhouse and then transfer them outdoors later in the month.
Carrots are a classic April veg but this time of year is ripe for carrot fly so it’s an idea to protect your plants under a fleece or cloche. They should be ready by July or August.
Tender veg such as marrows, pumpkins, squash, cauliflower, aubergines and courgettes can all be planted in April under cover. After you have chitted your potatoes, you can now plant out your early and maincrop spuds.
Onions, garlic, artichokes and asparagus can also be planted outside at this time of year, while you can sow perennial herbs including sage, thyme, lemon balm, rosemary and mint in your greenhouse or on a warm windowsill.
Sowing & Growing Fruit in April
There’s nothing sweeter, literally and metaphorically, than taking a bite from a perfect peach or a succulent strawberry you’ve grown yourself. Bare-root peach trees can be planted in April, while strawberries are an obvious answer to the question ‘what seeds to plant in April.’
Cranberries are a great bare-root shrub to plant for summer tarts and Christmas sauces, and hardy melon seeds such as the deliciously sweet Alvaro F1 Hybrid are easy to grow in the notoriously unpredictable British weather!
You should also get your raspberry and blackberry canes in the ground before the hot weather arrives.
What Flowers to Plant in April
When it comes to flowers, there are so many to choose from, so deciding what bulbs to plant in April might take a while. You can sow sunflowers into your borders as well as the beautifully-scented dianthus, known as ‘pinks’, and osteospermum, better known as African daisies.
Zinnias give a vibrant splash of colour, and they’re tall so they can be planted at the back of your borders for some much-needed scale. The luxuriously orange Mexican sunflower is perfect for autumn picking and Lagurus ovatus, or Bunny’s Tail Grass, is a great addition to any border.
If you’re still wondering what flowers to plant in the UK in April, try strawflowers, the dark red Monarda perennial or the fiery reds, oranges and yellows of the annual climber known as Spanish flag.