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Gardener  planting a seedling
Jobs to do this month


  • Sow hardy annuals, such as love-in-a-mist and pot marigolds, as well as native wildflowers, into gaps in borders

  • Enjoy instant colour by planting primulas and polyanthus in pots and at the front of borders

  • Protect the new shoots of hostas, delphiniums, lupins and other vulnerable plants from slugs and snails

  • Continue deadheading spring bulbs and bedding, so they don't waste energy setting seed

  • Plant pineapple lily (eucomis) bulbs in pots for exotic-looking summer flowers

  • Sow sweet peas at the base of supports, and transplant those sown in autumn into their final positions

  • Spray the new leaves of disease-prone roses with fungicide to control mildew, rust and blackspot

  • Take basal cuttings from clumps of perennials, such as delphiniums, campanulas and lupins

  • Prune hydrangeas, cutting back the old stems to a healthy shoot lower down

  • Reinvigorate mature clumps of hardy perennials, such as hostas, asters and daylilies, by dividing and replanting

  • Sow sunflowers in a sunny, open site, then water regularly and protect seedlings from slugs and snails

  • Check for aphids on roses and rub them off before they develop into major infestations

  • Add aquatic plants, such as waterlilies and irises, to garden ponds

Fruit and veg

  • Plant second-early and maincrop potatoes

  • Place cardboard collars around the stems of brassicas to deter cabbage root fly from laying their eggs

  • Pinch out the tips of broad beans if they're covered in aphids, or spray shoots with soap-based solution

  • Sow outdoor varieties of tomatoes, chillies and courgettes in pots, so they're ready to plant out in late May or June

  • Divide clumps of hardy herbs, such as lemon balm and chives, then replant in pots, borders or a dedicated herb bed

  • Sow small batches of rocket and other easy salad leaves

  • Continue planting bare-root asparagus crowns and Jerusalem artichoke tubers

  • Sow flowering companions in the veg plot, such as pot marigolds and borage

  • Continue planting batches of garlic, shallots and onions every few weeks to extend the cropping period

  • Sow herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill and chamomile in a sunny bed or container

  • Protect emerging seedlings from slugs and snails

  • Sow fast-growing crops, such as radishes, to make the most of any temporary gaps


  • Prick out seedlings growing in pots and trays as soon as they produce their first true leaves

  • Sow sweet peas in deep pots and keep them frost-free in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill

  • Start feeding houseplants once a week with liquid fertiliser, continuing through to autumn

  • Sow quick-growing microgreens, such as kale and mustard, for nutrient-rich pickings in just a few weeks

  • Transplant greenhouse tomatoes into growing bags or large containers and tie in the stems to supports

  • Plant up hanging baskets and pots with summer bedding, but keep indoors until after the last frost

  • Sow herbs in pots or trays, including basil, chives, parsley, fennel and coriander

  • Thin out heavy fruit sets on peaches and nectarines, leaving fruits about 10cm apart

  • Sow runner beans, French beans, cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkins and sweetcorn in pots

  • Pinch out the shoot tips of fuchsias to develop bushier plants

  • Attach guttering to the greenhouse and install a water butt, so you can make good use of April showers

  • Clean greenhouse glazing to let in as much light as possible

  • Maintain good plant hygiene, picking off faded blooms and dead leaves before fungal diseases can take hold

  • Open greenhouse doors and vents on warm days, or install automatic vent openers, to improve air circulation

  • With thanks to BBC Gardeners' World

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