Seeds to sow now:

Indoor or in a heated greenhouse

Coriander

Cress

Cucumber

Forget-me-not

Ornamental pepper

Tomato

Outside

Alyssum

Amaranthus

Antwerp hollyhock, Fig-leaved hollyhock, Hollyhock

Aster

Aubretia, Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Basil, Sweet basil, Common basil

Beet, Beetroot, Chard

Beetroot, Garden beet

Borecole, Kale

Bristly hollyhock

Broccoli

Cabbage

Candytuft

Cardoon

Carrot

Cauliflower

Celery

Common hollyhock

Cornflower

Courgette

Delphinium

French bean, Fine bean

Hollyhock

Italian beetroot, Beetroot, Garden beet

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Love-in-a-mist

Marrow

Nasturtium

Normandy sorrel

Ornamental winter kale

Radish

Runner bean

Spinach

Spinach, Summer spinach

Spring onion

Sweet corn

Sweet pea

Swiss chard, Ruby chard, Rhubard chard

Turnip

Outside under cover

Sweet corn


Shows and events:

Update 12/04/2022
I have checked the 2022 events listed below and have added comments where necessary. Please check the show website before travelling, some events may have Covid restrictions in place, others might have to be cancelled at the last minute.

I'll try to keep this list up to date as the situation changes. Regards Nick.

16/03/2022 - 19/06/2022

The Garden Museum: The Garden Museum: Wild & Cultivated Fashioning the Rose  The Garden Museum: Wild & Cultivated Fashioning the Rose @ The Garden Museum
An exhibition and celebration of roses in fashion from the Victorian era to today.
- Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB

The Garden Museum: Wild & Cultivated Fashioning the Rose The Garden Museum: Wild & Cultivated Fashioning the Rose

23/04/2022 - 21/06/2022

British Asparagus Festival  Auctions, music, competitions, Morris dancing and food festival
Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, WR10 1PT

British Asparagus Festival British Asparagus Festival

01/05/2022 - 30/06/2022

Arundel Castle and Gardens: Allium extravaganza  Allium extravaganza @ Arundel Castle and Gardens
Thousands of alliums in flower throughout the walled garden.
- Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9AB

Allium extravaganza Allium extravaganza

20/05/2022 - 22/05/2022

Winchcombe Cotswold Walking Festival  Themed walks, including flowers, history and archaeology.
Winchcombe, Glouscestershire

Winchcombe Cotswold Walking Festival Winchcombe Cotswold Walking Festival

21/05/2022 - 22/05/2022

Smallholding and Countryside Festival  A celebration of smallholding and rural life.
Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, LD2 3SY

Smallholding and Countryside Festival Smallholding and Countryside Festival

24/05/2022 - 28/05/2022

RHS Chelsea Flower Show  Perhaps the most famous and prestigious flower show in the world. It has been held for over 100 years, starting in 1862 and was originally known as the Great Spring Show. It was held at the RHS garden in Kensington, moving to the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds in 1913, when it was a three day show. The whole event including the 12,000 sq m Great Pavilion and all of the show gardens are put together in just three weeks (19 days) and dismantled in the 5 days after the show.
Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR

RHS Chelsea Flower Show RHS Chelsea Flower Show

27/05/2022 - 05/06/2022

Wye Valley River Festival  Two-weeks of events, programme of shows and festivities.
Multiple locations in the Wye Valley

Wye Valley River Festival Wye Valley River Festival

31/05/2022 - 01/06/2022

The Suffolk Show  A traditional agricultural county show.
Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 8UH

The Suffolk Show The Suffolk Show

03/06/2022 - 04/06/2022

Scone Palace: Scone Palace Garden Fair  Scone Palace Garden Fair @ Scone Palace
Held in the gardens of Scone Palace. Plant societies and nurseries will be offering gardening advice and plant sales.
- Isla Road, Perth, Perthshire PH2 6BD

Scone Palace Garden Fair Scone Palace Garden Fair

04/06/2022 - 04/06/2022

Taste of Grampian Festival  Scotland's biggest one day food and drink festival. Local Scottish produce, arts, crafts and demonstrations.
P&J Live, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire

Taste of Grampian Festival Taste of Grampian Festival

09/06/2022 - 11/06/2022

Royal Cornwall Show  The agriculture show is Cornwall's biggest annual event.
The Royal Cornwall Events Centre, Whitecross, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7JE

Royal Cornwall Show Royal Cornwall Show

11/06/2022 - 11/06/2022

The Royal Windsor Flower Show  Gardening workshops, talks, displays and competitions.
York Club, Great Windsor Park, Berkshire, SL4 2BS

The Royal Windsor Flower Show The Royal Windsor Flower Show

16/06/2022 - 19/06/2022

The NEC: BBC Gardeners' World Live Confirmed going ahead BBC Gardeners' World Live @ The NEC
Show gardens, gardening advice, demonstrations and the chance to buy plants! Run in conjunction with BBC Good Food Show Summer.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT

BBC Gardeners' World Live BBC Gardeners' World Live

16/06/2022 - 19/06/2022

The NEC: BBC Good Food Show Summer Confirmed going ahead BBC Good Food Show Summer @ The NEC
Run in conjunction with BBC Gardeners' World Live at the NEC.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT

BBC Good Food Show Summer BBC Good Food Show Summer

18/06/2022 - 19/06/2022

RHS Garden Hyde Hall: British Cactus & Succulent Society Exhibition  British Cactus & Succulent Society Exhibition @ RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Displays of cacti and succulents, expert advice and sales of UK Grown plants.
- Creephedge Lane, Rettendon Common, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8ET

British Cactus & Succulent Society Exhibition British Cactus & Succulent Society Exhibition

23/06/2022 - 26/06/2022

RHS Garden Harlow Carr: RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show  RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show @ RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Harlow Carr's flower show is a three day event hosting specialist nurseries and trade stands with stunning displays, food stalls and family entertainment.
- RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QB

RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show

28/06/2022 - 30/06/2022

GLEE  One of the largest trade only gardening and gift shows in the UK. This years show has moved from the usual spring dates to late June.
The NEC Birmingham, West Midlands

GLEE GLEE

04/07/2022 - 09/07/2022

Hampton Court Palace: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival  RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival @ Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the largest annual flower show in the World. Lots of large and smaller show gardens and marquees displaying flowers, plants and fruit. A whole marquee is dedicated for the 'Festival of roses'. Hampton Court has 34 acres of parkland so the flower show is able to spread out more than Chelsea. Unlike Chelsea where you can only purchase plants on the last day sell-off, at Hampton Court you can purchase plants and garden sundries on all days. In the last couple of hours in the afternoon of the last show day, a lot of the plants that have been in the display gardens are sold off at a reduced prices, so you may get a bargin. However, this also means that in late afternoon it's a bit frenetic and difficult to see the displays at their finest. 30 minutes by train from London Waterloo.
- East Molesey, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU

RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

10/07/2022 - 10/07/2022

Winterbourne House & Garden: Rare Plant Fair  Rare Plant Fair @ Winterbourne House & Garden
Specialist Plant Fairs in Unique Gardens
- University of Birmingham, 58 Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2RT

Rare Plant Fair Rare Plant Fair

14/07/2022 - 15/07/2022

RHS Garden Harlow Carr: Sweet Pea Weekend  Sweet Pea Weekend @ RHS Garden Harlow Carr
The National Sweet Pea Society are participating in the Sweet Pea weekend at RHS Harlow Carr.
- RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QB

Sweet Pea Weekend Sweet Pea Weekend

20/07/2022 - 24/07/2022

Tatton Park: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park  RHS Flower Show Tatton Park @ Tatton Park
- Knutsford, Cheshire

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

29/07/2022 - 31/07/2022

Ragley Hall: The Game Fair  The Game Fair @ Ragley Hall
One of the World's largest game fairs. Celebrating British country life. Displays of archery, falconry, fishing, traditional crafts, clay shooting and gun dog handling. The show also includes food, drink, produce and lifestyle sales stalls.
- Alcester, Warwickshire B49 5NJ

The Game Fair The Game Fair

03/08/2022 - 07/08/2022

RHS Garden Hyde Hall: RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show  RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show @ RHS Garden Hyde Hall
A five day flower show set in the grounds of RHS Garden Hyde Hall. Specialist plant nurseries, garden help, tips and advice, live music as well as refreshments.
- Creephedge Lane, Rettendon Common, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8ET

RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show

18/08/2022 - 21/08/2022

Southport Flower Show Confirmed going ahead The UK's largest independent flower show with over 300 exhibitors and 50,000 visitors in 4 days.
Victoria Park, Southport, Lancashire, PR8 2BZ

Southport Flower Show Southport Flower Show

04/09/2022 - 07/09/2022

The NEC: Autumn Fair Confirmed going ahead Autumn Fair @ The NEC
A wholesale home, gift and fashion exhibition for shops and retailers.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT

Autumn Fair Autumn Fair

06/09/2022 - 11/09/2022

RHS Garden Wisley: RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show Confirmed going ahead RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show @ RHS Garden Wisley
Six day flower show featuring nurseries and garden trade suppliers. Including the National Dahlia Society Show, NAFAS floral displays and the Surrey Sculpture Society Trail. Pre-booking required
- Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB

RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show

10/09/2022 - 10/09/2022

Abingdon Air & Country Show  Vintage vehicles, steam engines, flying displays and country crafts.
Abingdon Airfield, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Abingdon Air & Country Show Abingdon Air & Country Show

10/09/2022 - 11/09/2022

Winterbourne House & Garden: Brimingham Honey Show  Brimingham Honey Show @ Winterbourne House & Garden
All things bees and honey to celebrate Heritage Open Days 'Edible England'. Meet beekeepers and buy local honey. In collaboration with Birmingham Bee Keepers
- University of Birmingham, 58 Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2RT

Brimingham Honey Show Brimingham Honey Show

16/09/2022 - 18/09/2022

Newby Hall & Gardens: Harrogate Autumn Flower Show  Harrogate Autumn Flower Show @ Newby Hall & Gardens
A 3 day flower show celebrating autumn flowering plants and hosting of the Northern Championships of the National Vegetable Society. Stalls selling plants, garden equipment, food and dring.
- Newby Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 5AE

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

22/09/2022 - 24/09/2022

Ragley Hall: The ARB Show  The ARB Show @ Ragley Hall
Trade show for Arboriculturalists and tree care professionals.
- Alcester, Warwickshire B49 5NJ

The ARB Show The ARB Show

25/09/2022 - 25/09/2022

Arundel Castle and Gardens: Plant Fair   Plant Fair  @ Arundel Castle and Gardens
- Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9AB

Plant Fair  Plant Fair 

05/10/2022 - 09/10/2022

Grand Designs Live - The NEC  Home and garden show based on the Channel 4 TV series of the same name, hosted by Kevin McCloud.
The NEC, Birmingham

Grand Designs Live - The NEC Grand Designs Live - The NEC

27/10/2022 - 29/10/2022

National Honey Show  Sales, exhibitions and judging of honey and bee produce.
Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AJ

National Honey Show National Honey Show

All event details have been entered as accurately as possible, but please check with the event organisers before travelling to avoid disappointment.

Welcome to the UKGardening Internet site.

The UKGardening web site has been running since 1998. The idea behind the site has always been to provide what we think will be interesting and useful information for the novice gardener.

Jobs to do in the garden this week.

  • Continually nip out side shoots from upright (cordon) tomato plants. These reduce the amount of food available to fruit baring branches. If growing plants in the greenhouse, nip out the growing tip after the plant has produced 4-5 fruiting trusses, reduce this to 3-4 if growing tomatoes outside. See here, for more information: https://youtu.be/zFBgCBaFSnk
  • Cover strawberries and fruit bushes with netting to protect them from birds. Start to feed the plants weekly when the fruit starts to form.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs, including ceanothus and forsythia, after they have bloomed. Give topiary a light trim after a spurt in spring growth.
  • Buy plants in strips or trays that are compact and sturdy, the compost that they are growing in should be moist. Try to buy plants in bud, with few open blooms.
  • Dead head azaleas and rhododendrons.
  • Introduce fish into a new pond.
  • If your daffodils, in the past, have been attacked by the narcissus bulb fly (Merodon equestris - the larvae will eat the centre of the bulb), firm down the soil around the bulbs or use fleece or similar to cover daffodil bulbs to stop female flies from laying eggs, preventing their larvae causing damage. Derris powder was traditionally used as a treatment, but it is no longer available (Derris powder contains high levels of the rotenone, which is a strong insecticide, toxic to fish, it has also been linked to Parkinson's disease. All derris based products have been withdrawn from sale in the UK from October 2009) and chemical alternatives aren't available.
  • Once forced bulbs have finished flowering, plant them out into the garden.
  • Remove any wayward growing raspberry shoots. They will just crowd the fruiting canes.
  • Stake and tie perennials to prevent them being broken by wind and rain. Remove fading delphinium flowers to encourage a second flowering.
  • Paint shading on the greenhouse glass, or use shading to lessen the scorching effect of the sun and to keep temperatures lower.
  • Check the ties on climbers, flower stems and standard roses - the tops of plants can get very heavy when in full bloom or when wet.
  • Pinch out the growing tips of annuals and some perennials to create a stockier plant and to encourage more flowers More information here.
  • Sow hardy annuals in their flowering positions to fill any gaps in the border.
  • Check gooseberries for sawfly. Prune this year's growth back to 4-5 leaves (this shouldn't affect fruit as they appear on old wood).
  • Pots, planters and hanging baskets can be planted up now, although keep them covered at night until all chance of frost has passed. See the hanging basket project for further information.
  • Some perennials appreciate a late May prune, known as the Chelsea Chop (as it's done around the same time as the famous flower show) encouraging stronger and stockier plants often with an extended flowering period. Cut stems back by a third or a half. Plants that benefit include penstemon, hardy chrysanthemums, tall sedums, helenium and echinacea.
  • Earth up the first early potatoes that were planted in March, to stop the tubers being exposed to light, turning green.
  • Cut runners from strawberries (unless trying to propagate more plants). Runners will divert energy away from crop production.
  • Remove spring bedding plants and lift and store spring flowering bulbs (with the exception of snowdrops).
  • Prune helichrysum and artemisias shrubs to encourage bushy plants.
  • Clean the leaves of smooth leaved house plants. Wipe large leaves such as those found on rubber plants, swiss cheese plants and umberella plants, with a damp cloth. Smaller leaved plants can be dipped in a bowl of clean water. Do not attempt to wash the leaves of 'hairy' leaved plants such as African violets, use a soft brush such as a paint brush or a used toothbrush.
  • Support herbaceous border plants with canes, where they will be needed in late summer. It's easier to do this now while the plants are still small, this also reduces the risk of damaging the roots later in the season.
  • Prune plum trees, paint fresh cuts with Arbrex to prevent infection.
  • May is an ideal time to create ponds / pools. Click here to see the pond project page.
  • Spray roses with 'Rose Clear' to kill aphids and protect from blackspot.
  • Trim hedges to encourage the branches to thicken up and to keep them neat and tidy.
  • Take soft wood cuttings from thyme. Thyme cuttings take easily, so they can be stuck in the soil or in pots. Remember that thyme likes full sun and hates to be grown in the shade.
  • Plant out greenhouse grown runner beans or sow them at the base of wigwams 5cm (2in) deep. Keep well watered.
  • Fuchias flower from the ends of their branches, nipping out the growing tip will encourage more shoots, creating a bushier plant with more flowers.
  • Replant dahlia tubers that have been lifted and stored for the winter. Put a stake in now to save damaging the plant and roots once it has started growing.
  • Propagate marginal pond plants. Take short cuttings, remove lower leaves and push stems into pots of mud. Keep top of the pots just under the surface of the water.
  • Lots of tender plants can be grown outside in containers between May and September as long as the pot is big enough and they get enough water and the occasional feed.
  • If becoming boisterous, prune spring-flowering clematis including alpina and macropetala after flowering. Use cuttings to propagate new plants.
  • The adult vine weevil, the number one garden pest, will be emerging from the soil as the temperatures rise.
  • Control weeds in lawns with a selective weedkiller. Don't cut the grass for at least a week after applying. Don't put these grass cuttings on the compost heap.
  • Protect plants from slugs and snails with slug pellets, course grit or traps. Alternatively try to encourage birds, hedgehogs and frogs to your garden - all prey on slugs and snails. More suggestions to reduce slug and snail damage.
  • Regularly water trees and shrubs that were planted last autumn and winter. Their roots won't have had a chance to fully develop yet.
  • Thin out seedlings, leaving the strongest growing plants. Water the soil gently beforehand to reduce soil disturbance.
  • Cut grass weekly, long grass takes more nutrients out of the soil. It is also harder to cut and may leave yellow patches in the lawn.
  • Apply a weed and feed to established lawns. Water in with a hose after a few days if it hasn't rained.
  • As daffodils fade, remove the flower heads. Don't cut back the leaves - leave them to die back naturally. However if you want to tidy them up, wait until the leaves have yellowed before removing.
  • Feed established roses, fortnightly, with a rose fertilizer, dead-head regularly and check for aphids and black spot.
  • Plant maincrop potatoes in prepared ground or potato growbags.
  • Now is the best time to plant lavender. Widely grown for its scent and foliage, lavender is ideal for borders or a low hedge. Available in shades of purple, blue, white and pink it is a magnet for bees and butterflies
  • Lift, divide and replant chives.
  • Remove the dead heads of spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, before they have a chance to produce seed. This will encourage the plant to store energy in the bulb rather than wasting it on seed production.
  • Postion plant supports where they will be needed in late summer. Doing this now reduces the risk of damaging the roots later in the season.
  • If your lawn is more moss than grass, then treat with a lawn moss killer. Bare in mind that the moss will turn black within a couple of days, so don't be too alarmed. A couple of weeks after application, if you are left with bare patches in your lawn, mix equal quantities of grass seed and seived compost and scatter over the patches, cover areas with fine netting or twigs gently pushed into the soil, to protect from birds and animals. Combination lawn feed and moss killer is available, but feeding your lawn when it's not necessary will encourage it to grow quicker and therefore need to be cut more regularly.
  • Sow vegetable seeds (courgette, marrow, runner and French beans) in the vegetable patch and salad seeds (lettuce, spring onion and radish) little and often to provide a staggered harvest through the summer.
  • As summer-flowering herbaceous perennials start to come back to life, lift and divide overgrown plants.
  • Scatter growmore granules under fruit trees and bushes, especially apple, pear and plum trees. If it doesn't rain for a couple of days, water the granules in with a hose or watering can. Growmore is a slow release, general fertiliser, it includes the three main plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphates and potassium).
  • Begin regular cutting of your lawn. If the grass is long increase the height adjustment of the mower to the highest setting. Once this first cut has been done, lower the blades/deck and go back over the lawn.
  • Your pond may have started to turn green and cloudy. This is due to a rapid increase in algae, which flourish in the warmer spring temperatures. Once the pond plants start to grow again, especially the oxygenating plants, these will use up the nutrients and create shade, reducing the amount of algae. To speed up the clearing of the water, drop a small string bag/pair of old tights stuffed with barley straw, into the pond. Weigh the straw down, so that it floats just below the surface of the water.

    As the straw breaks down, it produces hydrogen peroxide, which reduces and inhibits the growth of algae and blanket weed. If the algae is particularly bad, barley straw extract can be bought in liquid form and added to the pond water (follow the instructions on the bottle, but as a guide before purchasing,125ml treats approximately 4,500 litres/1,000 gallons, but multiple, fortnightly treatments through the year may be necessary). If you have a fountain or waterfall, try to position the barley straw underneath this. Remove and replace the barley with new straw after about six months, before it completely rots down, polluting the water.

    The small, pre-filled barley straw bags to add to your pond, cost about £2 each, but you can buy a 17 litre pack, which will last a few years for about £10 from your local pet shop or Amazon here: Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Russell & Gerty Barley Straw, 17 Litres

  • Weed and spread compost from the compost bin over the borders and vegetable patch. This adds valuable nutrients to the soil and acts as a mulch, to retain moisture and reduce weed growth. Ensure that the soil is moist before adding mulch.
  • Transplant any self-set aquilegia, lupins and hollyhocks to new locations.
  • As it's starting to warm up, it's a good time to lay a new lawn, although the best time is in Autumn or late winter, as it's damper and cooler, allowing the turf to bed in without you having to worry too much about regular watering. See here: laying a new lawn for further information.
  • Remove algae and moss from patios and paths with a pressure washer or proprietary patio and path cleaner (traditionally a tar oil winter wash could have been used, but these are no longer available, particualrly to the amateur gardener, as they were found to be carcinogenic).
  • Prune apple and pear trees and remove any "suckers". Cut these off as close to the trunk as possible.
  • Prune fruit trees, rose bushes and wisteria.
  • Raspberries: Remove older canes that carried fruit last year but keep one year old canes that will carry this year's crop.
  • Why not make a New Year's resolution to tidy the garden. There's no time like the present.