Action for April Top jobs
Top gardening jobs for April
The soil’s now warm enough in most areas to sow seeds directly into the ground.
Sow hardy annuals such as pot marigolds, love-in-a-mist, candytufts, cornflowers and nasturtiums where you want them to flower.
Sow them in a recognisable shape so you can distinguish the emerging seedlings from weeds. You can also sow sunflowers.
Plant garden plants - evergreens, perennials, container-grown climbers and late-summer bulbs
April is the time to plant evergreens such as phormiums, cordylines and bay, and new evergreen hedges. Planting perennials now means they'll have time to establish while the weather is still mild and wet.
You can also plant unsprouted dahlia tubers and gladioli now – but wait until May for dahlias in colder areas.
Support tall perennials and plants that tend to flop
Lupins, delphiniums, campanulas, chrysanthemums and other flowering border plants become top heavy when in flower and can easily be flattened by windy weather.
Erect supports such as bamboo canes, twine or twigs around the emerging plants now. Don’t worry if the supports look a bit obtrusive at first – your plants will soon grow through.
Still time to...
- Improve the soil in borders. Incorporate organic matter before sowing or planting, but not if the soil is very wet.
- Put a forcing pot or upturned bin over rhubarb to bring the crop on, if it wasn't covered in midwinter.
- Plant garlic. Officially it's a bit late, but if you've bought cloves and haven't got round to planting them, put them in the ground and see what happens. You could get a useable crop.
- Sow outdoor tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, celeriac and celery in gentle heat if not done in March.
- In warmth, sow tender annuals such as morning glory.