My gardening advice for April


Richard Jackson Hello! It's my favourite time of the year to be in the garden. With the weather warming up and the light levels getting better, you can be doing tonnes outside.

From mid to late April there's so much to do, you have to prioritise.

Plug plants: Now's the time to be potting them on and planting them in larger pots.

1. The most important thing is to 'pinch' them out if they're getting a bit scraggly. This encourages them to push out and develop a stronger root system and produce more flowers.

2. Feed them. I use liquid tomato food or my own Flower Power Feed. This encourages the plants to get into flowering mode and bloom earlier.

3. Towards the end of April to early May, you can begin moving potted-on plug plants outside during the day, and bring them inside at night. This 'hardens' them up. Once you permanently leave them outside, they're tough enough to deal with the variable British weather.

Lawns: As it warms up your lawn will grow faster, so it's important to start cutting the grass on a regular basis. At this time of year, I like to cut my lawn to a height of 2.5cm (1"). By not cutting the lawn back too much, the grass can quickly recover if there are any frosts.

From the end of May onwards I like to cut the lawn a bit shorter, about 3/4 inch. This is the ideal cutting height for summer.

Tip: It's important to feed lawns at this time of the year. There are lots of different feeds available at garden centres – Lawn Magic is very good.

Borders: It's exciting seeing your border plants sprout into growth. The most important thing at this time of year is to keep an eye on hardy perennials like phlox and delphiniums, which are beginning to grow quite fast.

You need to stake them soon – the earlier the better – because once they grow to about a 30cm (1') high, they can get blown over and damaged by the wind.

Richard Jackson Kitchen garden: Now's the time to pot any young fruit and vegetable plants you want in your kitchen garden. Pop them on the windowsill to grow on, then put them outside when the frosts are finished.

The great thing about these fruit and vegetable plants is that if you get the right variety, you can start harvesting your own home-grown fruit and veg this year.

Remember, the sooner you get them, the sooner they'll start cropping! 

Watch out for more of my gardening tips and advice over the next few weeks.




  1. Diane Bowden April 17, 2008 at 2:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard, love the plants you bring us and have had great service from Thompson and Morgan. Any chance you could feature specialist spring bulbs at the end of August and into September? Also, how about unusual Amarylis for Christmas.
    Keep up the good work

  2. Sharon Gasparutti April 20, 2008 at 7:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard I’m having a go at growing salad veg from seed and hopefully it works as Grew tomatoes ages ago had a lovely yield from them. I’ve ordered the Joan J raspberries but would like to have go at strawberries as well. Which compost would you recommend? Also a very happy 10th Anniversary for Wednesday.

  3. Gill Eades April 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard, Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. My TSV of tree peonys are growing well,such good value & lovely plants. I thought you said that the yellow one would flower next year. I was surprised to find two fat buds on it last week! Is this the power of Flower Power?Always look forward to your shows and try not to miss any.Best Wishes, Gill.

  4. George May 13, 2008 at 12:41 am -  Reply

    Iwould like to purchase the lower climbing honysuckle plants you featured on Q V C, aweek or so ago Please advice
    Thankyou G Barnes

  5. allan johnson April 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    hi richard we have bought two collections of clematis
    the first collection arrived in pots the instructions indicated that they could be planted straitaway outside and are growing well the second collection arrived in plugs and where smaller there was no indication if they could be planted outside straitaway the varietes are
    elsa sparth hagley hybrid multi blue rouge cardinal
    the president polish spirit these are not growing well in the greenhouse can i plant these outside now
    thanks allan

  6. Mrs. M. Rutter May 28, 2009 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi I have just received my chrysanthemum plants – do I have to remove the black outercase from the roots before planting
    thanks, Marjorie

  7. Mr M. Pountney June 5, 2009 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    Thank you for preentaing such a good programme. My wife is an avid listener.
    Having purchased a water lily, it has now opened its leaves on the water surface. Unfortunately the water has turned green with some scum on the surface. As the instructions say not to use any cleaning chemicals of any sort, what can you recommend please to obtain clear water again?
    Thank you.
    Please note that the email address supplied is my works email address and not the email address registered to my account as my PC at home has temporarily decided not to receive emails.

  8. john March 13, 2011 at 6:57 am -  Reply

    when can i start to feed my wisteria with your flower power?

  9. Denise Duncombe March 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Thanks for all of your advice and encouragement, you and Julian are a tonic on a Saturday morning and I won’t move from my chair until I have spent the morning with you both – I have started feeding my plants with flower power now the weather is warming up and my tree peony is showing signs of many buds and lovely flowers to come and the garden is now a mass of yellow, blue and red with the daffs, grape hyacinths and tulips and yes I will remember to send in some pictures this year. I have received my bedding plants so have a busy week end planned planting them up.
    With thanks

  10. Linda Luckett April 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Could you please advise me what to do with my impatiens Sun Harmony, as soon as I received them I potted up in 3 1/2 pots, they are coming along fine but they have started to bud already do I take buds off, I have already pinched out a couple of weeks ago also do I repot again before putting them out in May?

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