Gardener  planting a seedling
Jobs to do this month


  • Pick off any developing seedheads on daffodils and other spring bulbs, but leave the foliage to die back naturally

  • Finish pruning roses early in the month

  • Cut dogwoods, willows, cotinus and paulownia right down to the base to promote vigorous new growth

  • Start sowing hardy annuals outdoors, including California poppies, nasturtiums and opium poppies

  • Tidy up alpines as they start to flower, removing dead foliage, then mulch with grit to keep the foliage off damp soil

  • Plant faded forced bulbs out in the garden for blooms next year

  • Plant lilies and other summer-flowering bulbs in pots and borders

  • Feed ericaceous shrubs, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and pieris, with an ericaceous fertiliser

  • Tidy up borders, removing established and newly-germinating weeds, then mulch generously with garden compost

  • Plant new roses and other shrubs and climbers

  • Sow native wildflower seeds in trays or modules, to produce plants for your own mini-meadow

  • Check tender new shoots for aphids, and remove before infestations get out of hand

  • Continue deadheading spring flowers and any remaining winter bedding so they don't set seed

  • Scatter general-purpose fertiliser over flowerbeds and around roses, shrubs and hedges

Fruit and veg

  • Avoid carrot root fly by sowing an early crop of carrots under cloches or fleece

  • Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines in pots indoors

  • Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, at a depth of 10-15cm, spaced about 30cm apart 

  • Buy young herbs to plant in containers near your back door, for handy pickings

  • Plant onion and shallot sets, spacing them 10-15cm apart, and keep the bed free of weeds

  • Make the first outdoor sowings of hardy veg, such as spinach, covering with cloches or fleece

  • Plant early potatoes in trenches on the veg plot, or in large tubs if space is limited

  • Sow parsnips as soon as the soil starts to warm up, as they're slow to germinate and need a long growing season

  • Plant a fig tree in a large container to restrict its roots, which encourages fruiting and limits its overall size 

  • Feed cabbages and other brassicas with nitrogen-rich fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure

  • Plant bare-root asparagus crowns in well-drained soil or raised beds, in an open, sunny spot 

  • Start hoeing veg beds as soon as the weather starts to warm up, as weeds will germinate quickly 

  • Plant strawberries in a hanging basket to keep the fruits away from slugs


  • Get crops off to a good start indoors to transplant into the garden later, such as celeriac, celery, lettuces and parsley

  • Take down bubble insulation in the greenhouse once temperatures start to rise, to let in more light

  • Sow a selection of vibrant annual climbers, such as Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobata) and black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)

  • Buy good value young bedding plants for growing on to a larger size under glass, or sow your own in a heated propagator

  • Sow dwarf French beans in a large pot for an early indoor crop in June

  • Plant prepared freesia bulbs in pots of rich, loam-based compost, for fragrant flowers indoors this summer

  • Pot up overwintering cannas into fresh compost, water in, then place in a warm spot to spur them into growth

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

  • Take cuttings from dahlia tubers planted last month to raise new plants

  • Protect greenhouse sowings of beans, peas, mangetouts and sweet peas from hungry mice

  • Be vigilant for greenhouse and houseplant pests, such as mealy bugs, and treat straight away

  • Open greenhouse vents on sunny days to prevent humidity building up

  • Sow coleus on a warm windowsill to enjoy their vibrant foliage indoors or in tropical-style displays outside

  • Take basal cuttings from perennials, such as delphiniums and lupins, to root in a pot indoors

With thanks to BBC Gardeners' World.