What to do in April

Ideally, vegetable and fruit growing should be keeping us busy mostly this month but with the cold wintery conditions that we have been experiencing here in the UK, we are so far behind.  I wonder whether we will really ever catch up with the growing season.  April is also the ideal time to start planning ahead for winter crops such as Brussels Sprouts, winter cabbages and cauliflowers but when I look around outside now its hard to believe that we are actually supposed to be in Spring!. The clocks went forward giving us an extra hour of daylight, but that’s no use if we can’t get out in the garden or plot and make use of it. A trip up my allotment today made it clear that I wouldn’t be able to do much for the next week or so as the ground is still very much covered in snow. 😦 So much for having time off work to work on my plot!

Last year crops suffered due to the torrential rain we experienced and now it seems that snow has come to play a part in causing chaos and mayhem. My greenhouse’s are full to the rafters of plants that should be happily situated in the ground, meaning that sowings of tomatoes, chillies, aubergines and greenhouse loving crops are having to take a back seat for the time being.  There isn’t a windowsill spare in my house that doesn’t accommodate some sort of vegetable at the moment.  Hopefully, the sun will soon rear its head and allow us to really appreciate the jobs that normally keep us busy during the Spring months.  In the meantime, here is a list of the jobs that need to be done this month; that’s if the weather allows.

Jobs to do………in April

  • Continue to harden off and transplant autumn sown cauliflowers and cabbages
  • Rake areas of the soil that need a fine tilth weekly.  This will help to break down the soil ready for sowing fine seeds
  • Continue to pot on plants that need transplanting, trying to accommodate them best you can under cover until the risk of frost has passed
  • Weeds will grow strongly now so keep the hoe busy to save more work later on
  • Remove all overwintering leeks and parsnips to make room for more crops
  • Feed Spring cabbages with a top dressing of nitrate of ammonia.  This helps to encourage lush, leafy green growth
  • Continue to pick salad crops to encourage more leaves
  • Sow a selection of herbs in pots ready for transplanting later
  • Improve your soil by adding well rotted manure or compost
  • Pot up tomato seedlings when they develop true leaves
  • Cover newly sown crops and seedlings with cloches to help protect a little more from the elements
  • Collect rain water from outside buildings for use in the next few months

What to sow………Indoors (Heated or Unheated)

  • Aubergines
  • Broad Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Chillies
  • Parsley
  • Melons
  • Celery
  • Onions and shallot seeds
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Winter salads
  • Summer Cabbages
  • Summer Cauliflowers
  • Calabrese
  • Early variety peas
  • Parsley (curly leafed)
  • French beans
  • Sweet corn
  • Leeks
  • Sweet peppers
  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Courgettes
  • Summer squash
  • Marrows
  • Pumpkins
  • Winter squash

What to sow………Outdoors (Under Protection)

  • Spinach
  • Salad Leaves
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Sprouting Broccoli
  • Red Cabbage
  • Summer Cabbage
  • Autumn Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Early Cauliflower
  • Leeks
  • Calabrese
  • Spring Onions
  • Herbs
  • Radish
  • Mangetout
  • Calabrese
  • Early Peas
  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli (Summer variety)
  • Broad beans
  • Onions
  • Parsnips

What to plant………in April

  • Plant rhubarb sets
  • Fruit bushes
  • Asparagus crowns
  • Jerusalem Artichoke tubers
  • Horseradish
  • Strawberries
  • Second Early and Maincrop potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onion sets
  • Shallots

Crops in season now

  • Broccoli (Sprouting)
  • Spring onions
  • Spring cabbage
  • Spring cauliflower
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Forced rhubarb
  • Spinach

Happy sowin’

Debb

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3 Responses to What to do in April

  1. Mandy says:

    I recently visited Debb’s allotment, the snow was still on the ground, but I was so impressed at the work she had done. It was the best prepared plot on the allotment. She has been very resourceful, recycling stuff as much as she can. I have always grown little bits of veg & fruit in past years but since staying with Debb she has inspired me with how much she grows & how easy it is, even with limited space or pots, to start growing more veg in my own garden. Thanks Debb for inspiring me love Mandy xx

    • Thanks for your kind comments Mand. I’m glad that you are going to try and grow a little more veg at home. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it and will soon be expanding your selection. Let me know if I can help in any way. Much love. Debb x

  2. Pingback: Full steam ahead… | More in Sunshine than Shade

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