April gardening jobs: part 1


Gladioli display Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a lovely Easter and got a chance to work on your gardens – weather permitting! With so many jobs to do at this time of year, I've tried to prioritise my list. See what you think…

Grow your own gladioli
Gladioli look fantastic in the garden and make great cut flowers too. Buy the biggest corms you can get and plant them in clumps in a sunny, well drained spot.

Dazzling daffs
For an even better display of daffodils next year, take off any dead flowers and feed them once a week with a high potash fertiliser like Flower Power. It’s also important not to tie up or remove the leaves for the first six weeks after flowering.
Bumper beans
Get an extra early crop of French beans by sowing some seeds indoors in pots of multipurpose compost. The young plants will be the perfect size for planting out once the last frosts have finished next month.

Move evergreen plants
If you've got an evergreen plant in the wrong place, now's a good time to move it. Once re-planted, give it a good watering to help it settle into its new position.
Pansy display  
Spring clean your garden
The Easter period is the perfect time to tidy the patio. Clean the slabs using a pressure washer, or a stiff broom and water. Use non-abrasive cleaner to spruce up resin furniture or use teak oil to restore the colour to hardwood furniture. Finally, add a splash of instant colour with some pots of flowering pansies.
Pot on houseplants
Got any houseplants out-growing their pots? April's the best month for potting them on. Use a good quality compost and mix in some controlled-release fertilizer to give your plant a real growth boost through the summer.

Check back next week for more April gardening jobs.

Take care,



  1. Lesley Parsons April 15, 2009 at 7:26 pm -  Reply

    Dear Richard
    To say I have “pink” fingers is being kind and I watch all your programmes avidly. I love your enthusasim about the plants and products and it gives me hope that some day I too can grow the wonderful flowers that you show. However, no matter how much I do as you say, I still can’t seem to get the right results. I have the purple tulips (they came with purple tubs too) and have only one flower – which is yellow! All the bulbs have grown their leaves but no flowers. Can you tell me what I’ve done wrong. I don’t seem to have had much luck with any of my bulbs I bought. I did put them in with bulb compost and feed but I must be going wrong somewhere! Can you give a gardening klutz a clue please – especially as I have bizzie lizzies, fushias and sweet peas all potted up from plugs – I don’t want to lose them too.
    Keep up the wonderful work.
    Kind regards
    Lesley Parsons

  2. Ann April 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard,
    I have a mini gardening tip that may help viewers. I re-use my northern nights duvets delivery packets as mini propergators/greenhouses. Not all seed trays fit in them but you can get a few pots 3″ size. I have them all over my spare room with plants/plugs n seeds growing.
    Also there seems to be loads of cabbage whites around more than last year…..is this true?

  3. Julie Hirst April 18, 2009 at 9:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Thanks for presenting such interesting gardening programmes, I try to watch all your gardening hours, which I have found very informative.
    I am wanting to grow runner beans this year for the first time, can you please advise how to make a good framewrok for them to grow up
    Julie in Huddersfield

  4. Susan Moore April 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm -  Reply

    Richard, Can you please let me have the names of the pinks included in the Whetman Pinks Devon Delights collection.
    Unusually there was an information sheet but no clues as to the variety. ie from left to right etc/ or A=,B= etc
    Have looked on the web site but it just says it is out of stock please search for something similar !!!!!!
    I also had the purple passion tulip collection and the first flush came up yellow and there is a second flush that I believe will be purple, but they seem shier !

  5. foamy April 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    hi richard, i am trying to create a cottage style garden,i have a small section that i want to plant up but i am not sure what to plant, please can you help, thanks janet

  6. cas April 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    hi i read the comment lesley made and I too bought the purple collection with purple tubs but have found I have a similar problem I only have 1 parrot tulip and even then it didnt fully open out so not sure what has gone wrong. Some of the bulbs have come up but no sign of the rest, yet the tulips in the garden have come up a treat as usual.

  7. Odette Dowdle April 23, 2009 at 12:52 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard,
    I watch many of your programmes and have in the past bought many plants from QVC. Most of which have been successful in my back garden. I live right by the sea, the North Cornish coast, which as you can imagine, gets some battering, even in the summer.
    Can you recommend some bedding plants, preferably, perrenial, that will withstand these conditions in my front flowerbed. I have Hydrangea, daffs and dianthus that survive out there, to name a few, but it’s all very sparse and I would like plenty of ground cover. Your guidance would be most appreciated. Many thanks, Odette

  8. Drum May 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard,
    Sad to report that things are not going well for my Double Rosebud Impatiens.
    As you know there are 12 plants in 4 colours:-
    The 3 Red plants are doing well.
    The Orange plants less well – but I think they’ll make it.
    The Pink ones are beginning to look porly.
    The White ones are all dead.
    I have treated them all in exactly the same way, including using your plug plant booster, so am perplexed as to why they are growing (or dying!) differently by colour.
    I wondered if they originate from say different nurseries and that some have been in better growing conditions than others.
    In the May RHS magazine I read of Impatiens Downy Mildew – and wonder if this could be the cause – though it seems difficult to spot on little plants.
    I’d appreciate your thoughts,

  9. james newman March 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ricahrd
    I have a space in my front garden and would like to plant an evergreen so its pretty all year round. I need something that can withstand strong winds at times as I am very near the sea. Would like to know what you would suggest.
    Would appreciate your advice

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