April is when things really start to get going in the garden. The soil is warming up, the risk of frost is much lower, and there’s lots of planting to be done!
If you’re keen to sow, grow and plant things this month, here are some ideas for what to plant in April.
Flowers to plant in April
Bedding plant & hardy annual seeds
April is a good time to sow seeds for hardy annuals and summer bedding plants. Growing these plants from seed is much more cost-effective than buying plants later in spring. They need protection from any late frosts, so you will need a greenhouse (a miniature one is fine), or a sunny windowsill indoors.
Growing *wildflowers is a great way to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. A packet of mixed seed will create a very natural planting effect, while also suppressing weeds. Sowing wildflower seeds is a brilliant job to get kids involved with too; my guide to sowing wildflowers has step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
For show-stopping blooms it’s hard to beat sunflowers. The *seeds are easy to grow, and an ideal gardening project for children. Sunflowers are also fantastic for local wildlife, providing food for birds, bees and other pollinating insects. You can find easy step-by-step instructions on how to grow sunflowers in this post.
Fruit & Vegetables to plant in April
Peas & broad beans
This month you can sow *peas and *broad beans outdoors. With peas it’s a good idea to stagger the sowing, putting a few seeds in the ground each week. This will give you a longer harvesting period and avoid a glut – although fresh homegrown peas never hang around for long in our house!
Another great crop to sow this month is carrots. If your soil is stony or heavy, go for shorter varieties like *Chantenay to avoid split roots. Carrots will grow perfectly happily in containers too, this is a good option if you have limited space or terrible soil!
Early cropping varieties of potatoes can be planted out from the end of March. If you haven’t already got hold of seed potatoes and ‘chitted’ them (left them in a cool place to start sprouting), go for a ‘second early’ or ‘maincrop’ variety which will cope with being planted later. My post on growing potatoes in bags has more details on how to grow potatoes.
If you haven’t already planted your tomato seeds it’s not too late. You need to provide heat for them to germinate; a greenhouse or windowsill indoors is great. My favourite variety is *Gardener’s Delight which produces lots of tasty cherry-sized fruits and is really reliable. There’s a huge amount of varieties to choose from though, and you can easily grow more than one type to mix things up.
You can plant *strawberries straight into the soil this month; if you don’t have lots of room try growing them in containers or hanging baskets. Strawberries are hungry plants, so if possible, add some manure to the soil before planting.
Raspberries & Blackberries
April is your last chance to plant *raspberry canes and *blackberry canes for a summer harvest. These may look like mere twigs when you plant them, but they will quickly turn into leafy stems and produce fruit. The RHS has a good guide to growing raspberries here and blackberries here.
Bulbs to plant in April
You can plant *Lily bulbs from late autumn until early April, so if you haven’t already got yours in the ground now’s the time to do it. Lilies enjoy a sunny location and rich, well-drained soil. Gardener’s World has a helpful guide to growing lilies here.
What are you sowing and growing in April? Let me know what’s on your list! And if you’re a bit behind with your planting you might want to check out my posts on what to plant in March and what to plant in February for more inspiration.