What to do this month
By April spring should be well and truly underway, the soil warming up nicely and everything
growing away. Don’t be complacent though, it’s been known for a cold snap with snow to strike
even in the sunny south of England. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and a hand on the
horticultural fleece and insulation materials.
Sowing & Planting in April on the Vegetable Plot
If March has been difficult and you’ve not managed to get much done, you’re going to have a busy
April. With onions you’re really pushing it so if they’re not planted make it one of the first jobs of the
Things to Sow in April
Covering your carrots with a fleece and ensuring the edges are buried will stop the carrot root fly
from gaining entry to lay eggs by your carrots. The eggs hatch into larvae that burrow into the carrot
root, killing the plant or at least ruining the crop.
Easter, a variable feast that usually falls in early April is the traditional potato planting time. If you
have a comfrey bed and it has sprung back, the first cut laid in the trench under the potatoes will
provide nutrition to get them off to a good start.
On the subject of comfrey, if you make a comfrey tea it will help you to a great crop when you use it
on your potatoes. Many novice growers wonder why they have small crops of potatoes and most
often this is just down to lack of food for this hungry crop. See feeding potatoes
Under Cover in Greenhouse, Coldframe and Polytunnel
A good tip in a windowsill is to stick some silver cooking foil onto cardboard and place on the inside
to reflect light back onto the seedlings. This will help prevent the seedlings being drawn.
Sow Outdoors Under Cloche
Many of the crops you can sow directly will also benefit from cloching, especially as you move
northwards or started off in modules in a cool greenhouse or cold frame and then planted out later.
Strawberries can be planted out now, it’s best to remove flowers in the first year as you conserve
strength for growth and gain larger crops in subsequent years. An easy way to gain strawberry plants
is to plant the runners into pots and when rooted cut the runner. The plants don’t last forever so you
need to rotate them every three to five years.
Hand pollinate peaches and nectarines. Tickle the flowers with a small paint brush to spread the
pollen. Cover if a cold spell threatens.
A good layer of compost around the base of fruit trees will ensure they have the nutrition to provide
another good crop for you.
We’re in the ‘Hungry Gap’ between the last of the winter crops and start of the early crops but there
are still a few things available, late sprouting and chards for example plus you may have some early
salad crops like radishes and fast lettuces from the greenhouse border.
Spring cabbage, broccoli, very early peas, greenhouse potatoes are all possible for experienced
growers. Outdoors salads that may be around: claytonia and corn salad.
Check Stored Potatoes
Do re-check your stored crops. On a fine day, empty out the potato sacks and check for any rotten
potatoes. If you’ve strung onions, watch out for the odd rotten one and remove it before it spreads.
Download / Printable Copy: What to do this month at your plot April.pdf