In the Vegetable Garden - Things to do this Month - April

seedlings

You’ll be thankful for the longer days of April, warming the soil to give seedlings a good start. To see what you could be sowing or planting this month refer to our Vegetable Planting Diary – Month by Month.

  • Keep up weed control; 5 minutes with a hoe now will save hours later in the season, and hoeing also exposes slugs’ eggs for the birds to eat!
  • Try to avoid treading on the soil when sowing or planting – a plank laid on the ground will spread your weight and prevent the soil becoming compacted
  • Be wary of further cold snaps and keep fleece or cloches on standby to protect tender crops as necessary
  • Continue to sow peas & broad beans for successional cropping
  • Easter is the traditional time to plant out main crop seed potatoes (odd, as Easter is a very moveable feast!), so get them in as soon as the weather allows this month
  • Sow runner beans, French beans and borlotti beans (for drying) in pots in the greenhouse or cold frame – protect from frost (wait until May in the north)
  • Plant out shallots and onions; sets or grown from seed
  • Continue to sow salad leaves, spinach, chard, radishes, beetroot, turnips and carrots
  • To protect carrots from carrot root fly, plant alongside the traditional companion herbs: Rosemary, Sage and Chives (all members of the allium family are said to repel the fly). Alternatively, you can cover with horticultural fleece, but I think the herbs both look and smell nicer and are more useful!
  • Indoors, or in a heated propagator, sow: Tomatoes / Cucumbers / Peppers / Aubergines
  • BE VIGILANT FOR SLUGS – see our tips for beating slugs here
  • Make this the year you become self-sufficient in herbs (and never have to buy a packet of dried herbs again!). Make a list of all the herbs you use in the kitchen and get sowing – once established, you can allow some to go to seed for sowing in the following year. This month, you can sow the following herbs: chives, fennel, basil, rosemary, parsley, marjoram, coriander, borage, dill, and chervil
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