With the spring season now in full bloom it’s the perfect time to get out in the garden and cross-off some of those spring jobs on your garden to-do list. Each passing month will bring more colour and vibrancy to most of our gardens meaning that care and maintenance can only make the space more enjoyable.

April is a great month to sow your vegetables for a summer harvest. Depending on the weather, you might be able to sow straight outdoors, but if not indoors is a great place to start. Alongside your vegetables you can prepare your flower beds, borders and other containers by sowing your favourite flower seeds.

Here is our full guide to the April gardening jobs that will help to transform your garden. Find out what jobs you can start now, which plants are perfecting for planting in spring, and get helpful gardening tips from our Hillier experts to keep your garden at its best.

What to Plant in April

Rhododendrons in beautiful bloom

Preparation is an important part of garden activity in April, though with the weather warming there are a rapidly increasing number of things you can plant in both the flower and vegetable garden.

What to Plant for Instant Impact

Gardening is often about the patient process of growing from seeds, bulbs, or small plants and nurturing them over time. If you want to balance this out with immediate colours, foliage, and scale in your garden, you can always find larger plants and those in bloom right now for instant impact.

Simply browse the “Plants Flowering in April” list below, then when you find a plant you like, head over to your nearest Hillier garden centre for immediate enjoyment. Once you’ve got your flowering plant in your garden, and with the right care, it should continue to develop year after year for you to enjoy.

What to Plant for Future Interest

Preparing for the future in your garden is a great way to ensure that there is colour and activity all year round. Here is a list of plants you can put in your garden now to enjoy in the coming months:

  • Small herbaceous plants. These can now be planted straight into the garden if it is mild.

Hillier Tip: Both 9cm and 1litre herbaceous plants are a cost-effective way to add summer colour to your garden.

  • Summer-flowering perennials: delphinium, dianthus, digitalis, geum, leucanthemum, lobelia, lupinus, scabiosa and many more.
  • Summer bedding plants, such as marguerite.
  • Alpines – 9cm or 1-litre plants allow for a cost-effective garden update.
  • Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender) planted now will flower through summer.
  • Roses, so they have time to establish for summer flowering.
  • Later-flowering shrubs, such as hydrangeas.
  • Mediterranean plants such as cistus and hebe so they can establish as the soil warms.
  • Sow sweet peas outside this month.
  • Towards the end of the month, if the weather is mild, you can plant up hanging baskets ready for summer colour.
  • Summer-flowering bulbs, like anemones, dahlias, lilies and ranunculus.
  • Sow wildflowers directly into the ground in April. They will attract bees, butterflies and other insects to your garden over summer.
  • Sow sunflowers, either into a pot or directly into flower borders.
View our collection of plants

Plants flowering in April

Pieris ‘Forest Flame’ 

As you may well know, gardening is about appreciating the beautiful now as much as it is planning and planting for the future. Here is a list of plants that will be flowering in the month of April around your garden and home:

  • Spring-flowering clematis varieties.
  • Spring-flowering shrubs: azaleas / rhododendrons, camellia varieties, ceanothus, chaenomeles, Convolvulus Cneorum, cytisus, deutzia, exochorda, magnolias, osmanthus, photinia, Pieris japonica, ribes (ornamental currants), Spiraea arguta, viburnum.
  • Malus varieties (e.g. Malus hupehensis).
  • Prunus varieties (e.g. Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’, Prunus ‘Tai-Haku’).
  • Perennials: bergenia, brunnera, Dicentra spectabilis (‘Bleeding Heart’), epimedium, erysimum (wallflowers), Fritillaria meleagris, geraniums, tulips, pulmonaria, Pulsatilla vulgaris.

Hillier Tip: Pulmonarias are great for adding colour to a shady spot, and with plenty of flowers, are loved by bees. Look for varieties such as ‘Majeste’, with very white leaves, and violet, blue, and pink flowers, or ‘Blue Ensign’ which has very blue flowers on plain green leaves.

  • Bedding plants: pansies, violas and perennial varieties of primula, such as P. beesiana, P. bulleyana and p. ‘Miller’s Crimson
  • Alpines: aubrieta, Lithodora ‘Heavenly Blue’, saxifrage
  • Lavandula stoechas (French Lavender)


  • Flowering now: Begonias, kalanchoe, orchids, roses
  • Great for foliage: Adiantum (and other ferns), alocasia, chlorophytum, cordyline, schefflera, cacti and succulents

What to Grow in April

The spring season is here, and you should see your garden bursting into life! Now is the perfect time to start sowing vegetable seeds, whether you’ve started already or not, there is still plenty of time to get going. If you have sowed seeds indoors in early spring, many will now be ready to plant out.

If you’d like a more in depth guide, see our April Guide to ‘Grow Your Own’.

Hillier Tip: One of the worst kept secrets to successful growing is preparation. Dig over the soil to improve its structure and alleviate compaction. Remove weeds, roots, and debris as you dig. Incorporate plenty of compost or well-rotted manure, then finally rake the surface of the soil so it is level with a loose, crumbly texture.  

What to Sow Indoors

Indoors provides a stable and manageable environment in which you can begin sowing your future harvest. This is especially true if you’re experiencing particularly bad weather. Here are some thoughts on what to sow indoors in April:

  • If the weather is cold, start courgettes, sweetcorn, and outdoor tomatoes off in small pots or seed trays indoors. They can be sown directly outdoors if the weather is warm enough.
  • Sow broccoli under cover.
  • Pot on any seeds sown under cover last month, incorporating fresh compost.

What to Sow Outdoors

Some crops prefer to be grown outside from the start, or they could be hard to manage if grown indoors, therefore sow the following outdoors:

  • If your potatoes have finished chitting, April is the month to plant outdoors. You will probably be looking to plant second early varieties at the beginning of the month and main crop towards the end.
  • Plant out runner beans and French beans sown indoors last month.
  • Sow salad crops including lettuce, rocket, mustard, salad leaves.

Hillier Tip: For a continuous supply, sow seeds every couple of weeks from early April into late spring.  

  • Sow green vegetables including broad beans, peas, and kale.
  • Sow beetroots, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, radishes, turnips, swiss chard, and spring onions.

Hillier Tip: If you are planning on growing carrots, leave an area of soil manure-free, as manure can cause their roots to fork and distort.

  • Sow hardy herbs, such as dill, chamomile, parsley, mint, and coriander directly outdoors.

What to Harvest Now

April isn’t just a month to sow and start anew, it is perfect for reaping the rewards of your previous efforts. April is the right time to harvest your:

  • Radishes,
  • Spinach,
  • Purple sprouting broccoli,
  • Spring cabbages.

Hillier Tip: See the planting and harvesting times for many of our most loved vegetable and salad plants in our Seed Sowing Calendar.

view our collection of vegetable and herb seeds

Gardening Jobs for April

As the weather and soil warm up from the cold of the winter months, there are more and more enjoyable activities to do in the garden in April. From pruning, to protecting, here are some jobs you can complete ready for your future garden:

Plants to Prune in April

  • Deadhead bedding plants, such as primroses, to encourage prolonged flowering.
  • Deadhead faded daffodils and tulips.

Hillier Tip: When deadheading daffodils and tulips, leave the foliage in place as this will feed the bulbs for the next year.

  • Formatively prune plum and cherry trees once leaf buds open.
  • Remove dead leaves from around the bases of alpines to avoid rot.
  • Trim evergreen hedges.

Plants to Feed in April

  • Feed roses with special rose feed with high potash as they grow. This will encourage a stronger, healthier flower.

Plants to Protect in April

  • If late frost is forecast, protect the blossom of fruit trees, such as pears, with fleece.

Garden & Lawn care for April

Remembering to look after the soil quality and lawn in your garden is key to a healthy space, year-on-year. Here are some jobs you can do for both your garden and your lawn:

  • If you didn’t do it in March, it is extremely valuable to prepare your beds and borders by improving the soil. As soon as the soil is workable, dig in a layer of good multi-purpose compost or well-rotted manure. You may also want to add a good all-purpose fertiliser.
  • If weather didn’t permit last month, give your lawn its first mow. Recut edges if needed.

Hillier Tip: For your first cut of the lawn, set the blades higher than usual. You want to be gentle to protect the roots of the grass, which will be soft and delicate after winter. Read more in our ‘Guide to a Perfect Lawn’.

  • It’s only mid-spring but start thinking about your watering routine now. Containers in particular may want regularly watering already as warm weather and wind can quickly dry soil.
  • Plan your pest control method, as slugs will start appearing from now onwards and early spring shoots will need protection.

Preparing for Drought with Water Retention

As the weather warms up, and with the experience of previous years, the spring months are the perfect time to consider a water retention system. This can be as simple as installing a water butt and water collection system if space allows to collect and recycle rainwater over the coming year.

By being prepared for a dry spell your plants and garden won’t have to suffer should a hosepipe ban come into place. You could even chain several butts together for expanded storage should you not have space for a larger tank.

View our collection of gardening essentials

Looking After Birds and Wildlife in April

Spring is a key breeding season for birds as a lot of species return from their migration over the winter months. This means that there will be a noticeable change in their care and food needs. Migratory birds coming back will be arriving and need feeds that are high in protein and essential oils to refuel their bodies after the long flight.

Here’s how you can help them to recover in your April garden:

View our collection of wildlife products

Monthly Gardening Tool Checklist

It goes without saying that good quality tools make your gardening experience much more pleasant. Here are some of the essential garden tools and products we recommend you have ready in your shed:

For growing potatoes (planting out once chitting is complete):

  • Garden fork and digging spade, compost, potato planter or large pots (if not planting in the ground).

Sowing indoors:

  • Seed packets, seed trays / pots (fibre seed pots are available as an alternative to plastic) / root trainers, seed sowing compost (e.g. John Innes), Board / levelling tool, watering can with fine attachment, polythene / thin layer of glass to cover seed trays, mini greenhouse / propagator, dibber, follow-on compost (e.g. John Innes No.1), plant labels.

Sowing outdoors:

  • Cloche, trowel, watering can (or hose plus suitable attachment).


  • Pruning shears / secateurs.


  • Lawn mower, edging shears, lawn moss and weedkiller, rake, lawn feed (e.g. Aftercut All-in-one or Viano MO Bacter, which is endorsed by the RHS).

Are you feeling inspired to get gardening?

View our collection of high-quality gardening tools

Want to make sure you’re ready for May? Get ahead of your gardening jobs and discover your May garden.

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