Sow the seed
It's a great time to plant grasses such as Miscanthus, Pennisetum and Stipa and they will do wonders to freshen up the look of a border. You could try sowing some annual grasses which are so easy and versatile. Briza maxima, Lagurus ovatus and Hordeum jubatum are all easy to grow and look great. In mild areas with warm soil, you can sow directly outside, but try marking out irregularly shaped seedbeds and broadcasting ‘drifts' of different seed to give a more natural look.
April is the perfect time to sow seeds both outdoors and indoors. All those stalwart British staples such as beetroots, carrots, leafy chards and spinach are ideal to sow straight into the ground now. Wait a couple of weeks before sowing the more tender French and runner beans directly into the ground or sow them in pots on the kitchen windowsill now and grow them on for a couple of weeks. Don't plant too many though – it only takes a few plants to feed a family.
Taters for Later
Now is the time to plant your spuds – even if it's just a handful in a big pot. There are few crops more satisfying than potatoes and they're easy too. If you're mystified by the ‘chitting of potatoes' you are not alone. First and second earlies (it will say on the label) need chitting which is when you put them upright in egg boxes in a bright, warm place (think porch, conservatory) until they've produced some nice sprouts (usually after a couple of weeks) and then you can plant them in the ground.
Pumpkins Grow a Treat
Kids love sowing and growing things and, once you’ve exhausted the mustard and cress on kitchen paper, pumpkins are the best fun ever. They’ll germinate infallibly given a warm windowsill and you only need a couple of plants. Just follow the steps below and by Halloween you’ll have your very own pumpkins to carve and style.
Pumpkin seeds are gloriously big and beautiful and easy for even the most fumbling of tiny fingers to handle.
Fill your pot with soil and make a hole with a pencil for a dibber – roughly 2.5cm (1in) deep.
Drop two seeds into the hole you've just made with the pencil.
Don't forget to label your pumpkins. Adding your child's name is a great way to give them ownership.
Smooth over the soil, water and wait. CHECK BACK IN OUR SUMMER ISSUE FOR WHAT TO DO NEXT!