During the months of April and May, vegetable and flower growing really takes off! This is the time to sow seeds outdoors in well-prepared soil and plant a variety of vegetables, including the likes of potatoes, courgettes and basil.
In order to help you prepare your garden, plant pots and other growing areas, we’ve put together this handy list of what to plant now.
What flowers should you grow in the greenhouse and indoors?
There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to growing plants and flowers in the greenhouse and indoors that you can grow now. Some of these include:
- Sunflowers – These can be sown between the months of April and May indoors in pots or alternatively, sown directly into garden borders.
- Petunia – Now is the time to finish sowing petunia seeds. These should be planted undercover at this time, to ensure their wellbeing until the summer months.
- Nasturtiums – These can be sown in both modules and pots in April and May. For best results, wait until all risk of frost has passed.
- Scabiosa – These seeds can be planted under cover now and are an ideal option for those wishing to attract a variety of wildlife to their gardens in the shape of butterflies and bees. They’re also popular cut flowers.
- Marigolds – If you wish to brighten up your summer bedding, plant these particular flowers in April, so that they bloom in plenty of time.
- Ageratum, Salvia and Zinnia – All of these spring plants also promise a vibrant display of blooms come the summer months if planted in April and May.
What flowers should you grow outdoors?
- Calendula flowers – The perfect plants to place in vegetable gardens. Not only do they attract wildlife, in the shape of insects and bees, they provide edible flowers which will add a welcome hit of colour to an array of dishes! You can sow these seeds directly outdoors in April and May.
- Wildflower seed mixtures – These particular mixes add an injection of colour to an otherwise muted outdoors space, whilst attracting an array of bees and butterflies.
- Comfrey – If you are looking to fill a neglected corner of the garden, look no further than comfrey. This plant boasts a rich source of nutrients and can be used for mulching and to make fertiliser.
Fruit and vegetables to sow and grow in the greenhouse and indoors
- Aubergine – These can be sowed in April and May, but must be kept under cover until it gets warmer. For best results, plant in a greenhouse.
- Celery and celeriac – You can finish sowing these seeds in April, however they must also be kept indoors or in a greenhouse. Once the weather begins to warm up, you can transplant them outdoors.
- Basil – To ensure your basil seeds survive the frost, sow them indoors until the temperatures rise.
- Pumpkin seeds, marrow, squash and courgette – All of these popular vegetables can be sown now. Again, they require cover at this point to ensure healthy growth.
- Kale – Although these seeds will often survive outdoors in seedbeds, it’s wise to grow them in a greenhouse at first.
- Gherkins and cucumbers – Plant either of these seeds towards the end of April for best results. Place the seeds in individual pots or in modules in the greenhouse.
- Melons – Not many know this, but this fruit is extremely easy to grow. For best results when planting in the UK, opt for ‘Orange Sherbert’ variants and grow in a greenhouse.
- Rosemary, thyme, sage and lemon balm – All of these herbs benefit from being sewn indoors in April and May, meaning they feature on our list of what to plant now.
- French beans and runner beans – Sow these seeds at the end of the month under cover. They need to be grown individually in module trays.
- Sweetcorn – These can be transferred outside once the risk of all frost has ceased.
- Strawberry plants – If you wish to sow strawberry seeds, now is the time to do it. The same goes if you wish to order strawberry plants for the coming season.
- Sweet pepper seeds – For bountiful summer crops, plant sweet pepper seeds in the greenhouse in April.
- Tomato seeds – These seeds should be planted now in order to ensure they’re strong enough to venture outdoors once the frost has passed.
- Lettuce – For best results, sow lettuce seeds in module trays and place in a greenhouse or under a glass cover. Alternatively, try sowing them directly outdoors, being sure to thin out the seedlings.
Fruit and vegetables to sow and grow outdoors
Globe artichokes and tubers of Jerusalem Artichokes – April and May are the perfect times to sow seeds outdoors. You can place these directly into your vegetable plot. These are extremely long lasting vegetables and provide both colour and a popular ingredient for a number of dishes.
- Brussel sprouts, broccoli and calabrese – Now is the perfect time to sow these vegetable seeds, simply place them directly into seed beds.
- Beetroot – When planting beetroot seeds, make sure your seedbeds are well prepared with nutrient-rich soil.
- Chicory – These seeds can also be sown now, by placing them directly into seedbeds.
- Broad beans – For a delicious summer crop, place broad bean seedlings directly into the ground.
- Greyhound cabbage and cauliflower – You can directly sow these in the months of April and May to ensure a good crop in the summer. Before placing them outdoors, choose a sheltered spot and ensure the soil is of good quality. Wait until the end of the month before sowing cauliflower seeds outdoors.
- Chives, coriander, dill and parsley – All of these herbs van be planted outdoors now as they are more hardy than other variants. If the weather is still a little on the cool side, place indoors at first and transfer outside when warmer. Alternatively, place directly into the ground or in containers indoors.
- Carrots – Plant the seeds outside in a row, ensuring the soil is moist as this will encourage good germination.
- Leeks – Now is the time to place the leeks you have been growing inside into an outdoor location.
- Kohl rabi – This is a somewhat unusual vegetable but also, a quick growing one. Once the seeds have been sown, you can expect edible produce in as little as eight weeks.
- Pak choi – For a taste of the orient, plant these seeds directly outside in April or May.
- Peas – These can be placed directly into the ground. However, if rodents (such as mice) are a problem where you live, place them in modules first and transfer them outside at a later date. To prolong the harvest period, ensure you plant plenty of seeds in April.
- Radish seeds and spring onion seeds – In time for the first salad of the season, sow these directly into the ground as soon as April arrives.
- Parsnip seeds – Plant these outdoors now, placing seeds at 20cm intervals.
- Spinach seeds and swede seeds – For best results, use a soil that is rich in organic matter.
- Swiss chard – This colourful crop is often planted in flowerbeds, despite being part of the vegetable family.
- Watercress – For best results, grow this seed in containers outside, as opposed to placing directly into the ground. You will need to ensure the container is sitting in two to three inches of water at all times.
Other fruits and vegetables you may wish to add to the list of what to grow now include seeded potatoes, asparagus crowns, garlic cloves, shallots, onions, fruit trees, raspberry canes and blackberry canes.
As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to what to plant now – it’s certainly the time of year to get busy in your garden! If you have other tips on how to grow any of these plants we’d love to hear from you so we can pass on the extra guidance to our readers!