Tuesday, 11 April 2017

April in the allotment.

April in the garden | Sarah Raven:
Try direct sowing some new salad leaves, carrots, peas, beetroot, spinach and chard.
Sow some quick growing half-hardy annuals, like pumpkins, squash, sweetcorn, basil and French beans.
Plant Maincrop potatoes.
Plant tomatoes and cucumbers (under cover).
Keep on top of thinning seedlings.
Rotavate the vegetable garden.
Get ready for a mass sowing of hardy annual veg, such as spinach, carrots, beetroot, lettuce and radish.
On heavy soil, integrate plenty of grit and organic matter. On freely drained soil, only muck and/or compost need to go in.
Plant out onions, shallots and garlic.
Pot on tomatoes. It’s tempting to move tomatoes from a module or seed tray straight into their final, large planting pot, but this slows growth. Tomatoes like to feel contained and cosy; their roots can’t cope with a large volume of compost and tend to rot. Pot them only one size up and add a cane at their side to support them as they grow.
Plant asparagus crowns.

Salad and herbs
If you want to get going with some salad, sow now undercover or in gutters in your greenhouse or conservatory.
Eg corn salad, rainbow chard, mizuna, rocket, winter purslane, mustard and plenty of lettuces.
Direct sow chervil, chives and coriander or sow dill, fennel and French sorrel under cover.

All soft fruits, eg strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, and gooseberries, will benefit from a mulch. Garden compost, leaf mould, organic manure, straw, hay and spent mushroom compost can all be used.

Direct sow a pack of zinnias.
Sow a wild flower meadow to encourage pollinators.

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