Copyright © 1994 peter sweeney

Grow your own

April is here 

If you want some really early potatoes,
start some in a black polythene sack in the greenhouse or tunnel. Punch drainage holes in the sack and use a multi-purpose compost.


Staying with root crops, you can plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers now.


Be aware that getting them all up at harvest time is very difficult and any tubers left in the ground will grow so effectively a permanent bed.

 

Our children micheal and madison enjoying our allotment 

Things to Sow in march

Beetroot
Broad Beans
Early Peas 
Brussels sprouts – early varieties like Peer Gynt will be ready in September
Kohl Rabi
Leeks
Lettuce
Radish
Parsnips
Spinach Beet
Early Turnips

Tip for April

Have a good tidy up and finish those odd construction jobs because you are going to be busier still later in the year!

Enjoy

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April is here
Sowing and planting
Fruit
Ideal time to plant pot-grown fruit trees and bushes.

Vegetables
Chit and plant out second early potatoes in the first half of the month, maincrop potatoes in the second half.

Sow seed outdoors for beetroot, carrots, Swiss chard, summer cauliflower, kohl rabi, lettuce, leeks, radish,
turnip, spring and pickling onions, peas and perpetual spinach in well-prepared soil.

Try sowing unusual vegetables such as salsify, Hamburg parsley, or scorzonera.

Sow seed indoors of marrows, courgettes, pumpkins and squash. Also sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, celery, celeriac, salads and globe artichokes.

In very mild areas sow dwarf French beans and sweet corn outside under cloches or fleece at the end of April. In cooler areas wait until May.

Sow a seedbed of brassicas to provide transplants of sprouting broccoli, cauliflowers and cabbages for planting out in June or July.

Transplant broad beans grown in pots.

Plant shallots, onion sets and garlic.

Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.

Plant asparagus crowns.

Pot up tomato seedlings when they develop true leaves above the more rounded seed leaves.

Problems
Apply apple and pear scab controls.

Deal with aphids, apple sucker, pear sucker, pear midge, caterpillars and powdery mildew.

Look out for red spider mite and aphids on strawberries under glass and treat accordingly.

Start treating for American gooseberry mildew.

Keep on top of weed control and continue through to summer.

General care
Fruit
Liquid feed fruit trees in pots with a balanced feed every fortnight.

Where possible, protect plum and pear flowers from frost but allow insects access for pollination.

Damp down or mist citrus plants regularly when flowering begins. Maintain a min temperature of 14°C (57°F).

Deblossom strawberries planted after September in their first year to help establishment.

Pick forced strawberries under heated glass.

Ventilate strawberries under cloches and mulch with straw or mats.

Avoid using insecticides on crops in flower.