What to plant in April – the flowers, fruit and vegetables experts recommend sowing this month

Your April planting guide

Garden with garden room, water feature patio paths and flower beds of shrubs and grasses.
(Image credit: Photoworld Ltd)

'If April showers should come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May' – so said songwriter Buddy de Sylva, and he's got a point: there's a reason why gardeners set to work in earnest at this time of the year.

It stands to reason, then, that we have a bumper list of what to plant in April, from flowers to fruits and vegetables. Honestly, now is the perfect time to learn how to sow seeds, fill your garden with blooms, build a raised bed, or even start a small vegetable garden

'April is such a glorious month in the garden. The enjoyment of seeing spring bulbs, from the last of the daffodils to hyacinths and tulips never fades, and watching perennials shoot up at speed means everything is really coming alive again,' says Morris Hankinson, director of Hopes Grove Nurseries

Morris Hankinson of Hopes Grove Nurseries
Morris Hankinson

Morris Hankinson is the founder and managing director of Hopes Grove Nurseries Ltd, the UK’s only specialist grower-retailer of hedging plants. He established the thriving business in 1992, shortly after graduating with a Commercial Horticulture Degree from Writtle College, Essex. 

What to plant in April

If you're keen to grow your own fruit and vegetables, you'll be pleased to know that April is the time to get to work. And don't forget to show a little love to all of your garden borders and flower bed ideas, too – but don't be lulled into a false sense of security by this temperamental month.

A blooming garden with a greenhouse

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

'April is a funny month: the birds are building their nests, early flowers are in full bloom, the grass in your gardens will start to grow again and blossom is beginning to burst out into colour! Spring has sprung, right? Wrong,' says Joseph Clark ( of @JoesGarden fame). 

Joseph Clark, of Joe's Garden fame, poses in his backyard holding a glut of produce and wearing a straw hat
Joseph Clark

With some 25 years of gardening experience under his belt, Joseph Clark utilises his abundance of innovative ideas to create easy and fun recipes to help his audience lead more healthy and environmentally-friendly lives whilst also saving money. He recently penned a must-read book called Garden To Save The World: A Feel-Good Guide to Growing for Yourself, Your Plants and the Planet

'That's right – late frosts are still a risk, so I recommend keeping your frost fleece and bubble wrap close by,' he adds.

With that caveat in place, then, here's what to plant in April.

Best fruit and vegetables to sow in April

It's official: some of the very easiest vegetables to grow are on our list for what to plant in April, so beginners and experts alike can jump aboard the Grow Your Own bandwagon with gusto.

'April is a funny month, as nearly every vegetable seed packet will say it is fine to plant outside at this time of the year,' says Joseph.  'However, I always recommend using a degree of common sense.'

Joseph goes on to remind us that, while April of 2020 brought with it nothing but glorious and settled weather, last April was a disaster.

'We had very little sun, cold days and tremendous amounts of rain! Very few seeds with the exception of maybe alliums (onions, shallots and garlic) and broad beans survived outside.'

Chickens in the garden walking around a round raised flower bed in a garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes Photography)

While most veggies are able to be sown this month, then, Joseph urges people to at least consider starting their seeds off indoors.

'I am lucky enough to have a greenhouse, and in the greenhouse I have propagators (both the greenhouse and propagators are unheated, as per Monty Don's advice),' he says. 

'So, while I am starting most of my seeds now, they are protected inside and not exposed to the weather.'

1. Carrots

A close-up image of a carrot growing in a garden plot

(Image credit: Getty)

Whether you fancy learning how to grow carrots in containers or straight in the soil, Morris says that these vitamin-packed veggies are definitely on the list of what to plant in April. 

You'll be pleased to know that they're drought-resistant and pretty self-sufficient, making them ideal for anyone set to embrace the chaos gardening trend, although you'll want to keep an eye on weeds. 

Where to buy carrot seeds:

  • Thompson & Morgan: there are lots of carrot varieties to choose from, but something like Carrot 'Resistafly' F1 Hybrid is ideal for anyone who's worried about Carrot Root Fly.
  • Crocus: a tasty selection of carrot seeds available.

2. Courgettes

Homegrown courgettes in flower

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's official: April marks the first month that gardeners can begin to plant courgettes. 

'Courgettes thrive in manure-rich soil/compost, so ensure the mature location for them is rich and well cultivated,' says Sean Lade, director of Easy Garden Irrigation

Easy Garden Irrigation
Sean Lade

Sean holds in-depth expertise in gardening and horticulture, with a focus on designing efficient irrigation systems. His solutions grace gardens and nurseries across the UK, embodying an environmentally-conscious approach to water usage. Sean is always happy to share knowledge, guiding gardeners and growers through regular training on irrigation best practices.

For best results, Sean says you should begin by planting your courgettes in pots indoors; this keeps them warm and allows them to harden off before planting outdoors around 10-14 days after indoor planting, in late spring/early summer.

'Once planted outside, you may want to cover them with a cloche to maintain warmth. As time passes, thin the crop out and leave the strongest plant. Water the soil regularly to ensure they are kept hydrated, and once they flower, feed them every 10-14 days with a feed high in potassium.'

Where to buy courgette seeds:

3. Peas

Peas growing in a vegetable garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Healthy and nutritious, peas are an underrated superfood – so you'll be pleased to learn that they're on our list of what to plant in April. 

Even better? They're incredibly simple to keep alive: they can handle cooler weather and partial shade, and only really need a good watering and some supports to keep them thriving.

Where to buy peas:

4. Beetroot

Beetroot growing in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another must-try from the 'What To Plant In April' list is the not-so-humble beetroot, which will help you tick off this year's big purple vegetables trend, too.

With that in mind, then, take some time to sow beetroot seeds directly into well-prepared seedbeds (or undercover, if you want to play things extra safe). 

Where to buy beetroot seeds:

5. Leeks

Freshly harvested leeks in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pretty as a picture (and twice as delicious), leeks absolutely belong on our list of what to plant in April.

As per the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), leeks 'usually reach maturity after four or five months, in autumn and winter, when other fresh crops may be in short supply, and they don’t have to be harvested straight away'.

They're perfect, then, for green-fingered souls who want to chow down on their own homegrown produce throughout the year.

Where to buy leek seeds:

  • Crocus: try the Leek 'Lyon' for a favourite on the show bench and in the kitchen
  • Thompson & Morgan: an abundance of leek seeds to choose from

6. Strawberries

how to grow strawberries in pots close-up of the vibrant red strawberries growing in the summer sunshine

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you prefer to learn how to grow strawberries in pots or in soil, these juicy little fruits are a must-try for April.

You can either sow strawberry seeds in your greenhouse, à la Joseph, or plant strawberry plants out in beds of well-rotted manure. 

'If you want to harvest some sweet strawberries in summer, plant out runners now,' stresses Morris.

Where to buy strawberries:

Morris says you can also sow lettuce, pumpkin, and radish seeds – while Joseph has had success with tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, onions, shallots, broad beans, kohlrabi, melon, sweetcorn, Swiss chard, potatoes, calabrese, cauliflower, cucumbers, and loofah at this time of year, too.

Basically, the world is your oyster. Just be sure to read your seed packets carefully first.

Best flowers to grow in April

Whether you're a fan of a wildflower garden, a cottage garden, or prefer a more modern garden, now is the time to suss out which flowers you want blooming in your own personal oasis come summertime.

'From cosmos to nicotiana, sunflowers to nigella, calendula to mina lobata, there are plenty of flowers to plant out this month,' says Morris.

1. Sunflowers

A sunflower plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Charlotte Coward-Williams)

If you're wondering when to plant sunflowers, the answer is April: you can either start them off in pots indoors or sow directly into your garden borders.

Where to buy sunflower seeds:

2. Poppies

Green garden with purple poppy

(Image credit: Future PLC/Heather Young)

If you're in the mood to plant poppy seeds, this is a great month to get to work – although you will need to start them off undercover.

They'll take anywhere between a week and a month to germinate, and then it'll be another two to five months before you have a beautiful garden filled with colourful poppies.

Where to buy poppy seeds:

3. Zinnias

Brightly coloured zinnias growing in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Colourful, easy to germinate, and brilliant for pollinators, zinnias are a brilliant flower to plant in April. Again, though, it's best to start them undercover – they don't like to be outdoors until all risk of frost has passed (May).

Where to buy zinnia seeds:

  • Thompson & Morgan: a great selection of zinnia seeds to choose from
  • Crocus: fill your garden with colourful flowers thanks to this wide variety of zinnia seeds

Best hedging and trees to plant in April

If you're looking for the best hedging plants to add to your garden this month, you're in luck: there are plenty worth planting in April.

'There is still time in April to plant bare root hedging,' says Morris. 'If the weather is still wet or frosty, bare root plants can be ‘heeled  in’ by digging a V shaped trench and placing the roots in at an angle before filling in loosely with soil for up to a month. As soon as the weather is better, plant them in their growing positions.'

If you are planning on planting out rootball hedging or trees, meanwhile, Morris adds that these will need to be planted this month. 

'Rootball hedging plants are removed from the field with a ball of soil around the roots, giving them protection and less disturbance than bare roots. You can get larger, busier plants so they establish quickly, so try something like laurel, beech, or hornbeam,' he explains.

Steps up between the raised beds to the gravel path leading through the garden to the seating area at the end of the garden.

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme Photography Ltd)

Morris says there is also the option of planting potted hedging or instant hedge plants, which can be planted any time of year. 

'If you’re looking to add some privacy to your garden, trees are a good option –including pleached trees which give a modern look, providing height and year round structure,' he explains. 

Lime, Cherry Laurel and Crabapple make superb pleached trees and can be planted now.


What is the best plant to plant in April?

If you're wondering what to plant in April, there's plenty to choose from. Our favourites, however, include courgettes, strawberries, peas, beetroot, poppies, and sunflowers.

Can I plant bedding plants in April?

As a general rule of thumb, you can get most bedding plants out once all chances of frost have gone – which could be April or May, depending on the weather forecast.

Small garden with lawn, steps and tiny shed

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Try sweetpeas, dianthus, marigolds and osteospermum, if you want things to look truly special.

What can you do in the spring in the garden?

If you're wondering what else to do in the garden this month, Morris advises that you start 'dividing clump forming perennials, such as hostas and daylilies, and re-plant where you’d like them to grow'. 

'This is a great way to reinvigorate older perennials, and get more plants for free.'

He adds that you should also 'keep an eye out for pests and diseases', too. 

'Slugs and snails are not horticulturally classified as pests anymore but that doesn’t mean they won’t be heading straight out to munch your young plants,' he says. 

'Consider using copper tape around pots, sprinkling eggshells or another rough surface around plants to stop them getting to your tasty plants!'

Now that you know what to plant in April, it's time to make sure your garden is ready for all of its new plant babies – which means, yes, you need to get weeding. Stat.

Good luck!

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.