Gardening Jobs For April

Firstly, apologies that this post is a little late. I normally post about the month’s gardening jobs at the beginning of the month… half term pushed all of this back and so did Spring itself! It’s finally arrived and I am currently spending the majority of the day outside planting and weeding.

A Glorious Month!

The sun has arrived. It’s 29*c outside and I am quickly writing this so I can get back out there and carry on working the veg patches. Seeds are sprouting, plants are coming to life and the greenhouse is looking full. Everything feels AMAZING! When the clock went back a few weeks ago, suddenly longer hours in the day and warmer weather meant that summer really is just around the corner. It seems hard to believe that just a few weeks ago the country was hiding under a thick blanket of snow.

Pot on plants

Some plants can be potted on now. My tomatoes, peppers and some cut flowers have had to be moved into bigger pots, or into their final positions in the garden. You know it is time to pot on when the baby plant grows their first set of true leaves. These leaves look like the leaves that you would expect on a fully grown plant. You should also pot plants on if roots start to appear from the bottom of the pot. If you don’t do this, the plant may become root bound and this stunts the development of the plant.

May all of your weeds be wild flowers

Once the soil warms up and the sun is glorious, not only do your sown seeds start to appear, but so do the weeds too. Keep on top of weeding and you shall save yourself a lot more hard work over the next few weeks. It can be confusing to know what seedlings are flowers or weeds. If you are after a wildflower garden, don’t weed- only remove the very obvious weeds that you are sure you wouldn’t want to keep. A weed after all, is just a plant growing in the wrong place!

I keep my vegetable beds clear of weeds so that my veg plants do not have to compete with the weeds to grow. Weeds hinder the growth of vegetable plants as they steal water, sunlight and oxygen. Less weeds= bigger harvests.

Sow Sweet Peas

https://www.thompson-morgan.com/p/sweet-pea-heirloom-mixed/4259TM

Sweet peas are amazing plants to grow. They are beautiful and smell amazing. They are also super easy to grow and the kids will love them. These plants are not edible like our peas found in the freezer. They are just decorative and wonderful for bees and butterflies. Regular pickings of these flowers will give you a bountiful continuous supply of flowers for the house. The more you pick, the more they grow! Grow them up wigwams, garden netting or let them scramble across hedges.

You can sow sweet peas now straight into the earth where they are to grow.

Cover over potatoes

If you planted your first early potatoes last month, you may start to notice the first green shoots emerging from the earth now. As these shoots appear cover them over with more soil. This does a couple of things: protects the young plants from any surprise frosts and encourages more growth below the ground, producing more spuds!

Planting your potatoes in troughs means that you can easily ‘earth up’ your potatoes using the mounds of soil that are next to where you planted your spuds. As the potatoes grow the mound will grow too.

What To Plant This Month

  • Sweetcorn
  • Courgettes and Marrows- despite the rumors these plants are actually different! Sow seeds on edge to prevent rotting.
  • Tomatoes- It’s not too late!
  • Peas and sweet peas
  • Beans- runner, and climbing varieties. Last minute broad beans too!
  • Carrots
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Beetroot
  • Raddish
  • Turnips
  • Swede
  • Celeriac
  • Swiss Chard
  • Leeks
  • Aubergines
  • Melons
  • Pumpkin
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower

My Favourite April Plant – Trees in blossom!

OK, not a plant as such but hear me out. Apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, plum trees…. all of the fruit trees! When I see trees coming into blossom I know that soon fruit shall start to swell and harvesting season shall soon be upon us. It is a small promise of tasty free fruit and a welcome splash of colour to our gardens, orchards, countryside and even roadsides! Next time you are driving down the motorway keep your eyes peeled for all of the amazing fruit trees that have started to grow from fruit tossed from car windows many years ago. Wondeful!

This blossom is from a young cherry tree in my garden.

How Much Plastic Is Really In Your Period

Women are changing the way that they bleed. A few years ago disposable tampons and pads were the norm, but now in 2018 more and more women are choosing to make the switch from disposables to reusables- cloth sanitary pads, menstrual cups and more. And it feels AWESOME!

Why you don’t want to use disposables

  • 100 billion menstrual products are thrown away every year. Most of which contain plastic. This amount of menstrual products would circle our planet 250 times!*
  • Each item takes 500 years to degrade. Because they cannot be recycled they end up in the landfill and our oceans. *
  • The average woman uses 11,000 menstrual products during her reproductive lifetime. This creates 200,000 tonnes of waste PER YEAR!**
  • All menstrual products contain plastics- pads are made of 90% plastic!**
  • Many disposable pads and tampons contain bleaches, dyes, and cotton that has been sprayed with pesticides.
  • Tampons absorb ALL moisture from your vagina, even the useful ‘stuff’ that you need. This can cause irritation, infects and even lots of tiny cuts.
  • It costs you money… just to have a natural bodily function!

Plastic Free Period

Think about the most common menstrual products available to buy in the supermarkets. I guarantee that every one of these items contains plastic. Every bit of plastic that you buy in your life shall still be sat in landfill when your great-great grandchildren are born. That is a scary thought. Scroll down to watch a video about this.

There has suddenly been a surge with the number of families choosing to live plastic/waste free. How awesome is that?! We know that plastic is ruining the planet, and people now realise that they can make simple switches in their daily lives which make a huge positive impact. Sadly though, many women may not even realise that their menstrual products contain plastic- making the switch to non-applicator tampons or using tampons that come with a cardboard applicator, sadly these tampons still do contain plastic in some form.

Let us look at a pack of Tampax Compak Regular applicator tampons & Always Pads

https://optiphar.com/en/online-pharmacy/tampax-compak-regular

What is made of plastic in this tampon?

The applicator (2 parts)

Wapper

The thin fabric around the absorbent core- Polyester (that’s fabric plastic btw) and polypropylene.

String- That’s the bit you use to pull the tampon out. That’s also made of Polyester and polypropylene. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic Polymer- whatever that is?! :/

Thread- Used to attach the thread to the core. That is made of cotton wrapped polyester.

What is made of plastic in this Always Ultra Pad?

Wrapper for the main pack

Wrapper for the individual pad

Top sheet- Polyolefins (this is another name for Thermo Plastic)

Core- Absorbant wood cellulose, absorbent gel, rayon or polyester. Eugh MORE polyester.

Back sheet- Those ole’ Polyolefins… again.

Now, all of these products have been listed as safe by the FDA. They should not cause YOU any harm. They’re not great and they aren’t natural but they are not going to kill you. But they certainly are not good for the planet.

https://www.aurecongroup.com/about/sustainability-aurecon/sustainability-stories/caring-beaches-around-the-world

Plastic, plastic, plastic everywhere. The method of making these products, shipping them to stores, the amount of waste created, carbon footprints created, and the fact that many of these products shall end up littering our beautiful seas, rivers and countryside. Periods are natural, but destroying the Earth certainly isn’t.

Why Switch to Cloth Sanitary Protection (CSP) Or A Menstrual Cup?

  • Save a fortune! A few pads or a menstrual cup may cost more than a pack of disposables, but they will last you for years and years! Saving you lots of money in the long run.
  • No nasty plastic! We are aiming to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives- and so should you. Plastic in our homes doesn’t seem as extreme as putting plastic UP our vaginas, but we still do it. That’s weird, right?
  • No cuts! Tampons cause tiny cuts in the vagina, CSP and cups don’t. Reducing your risk of infections, soreness and irritation.
  • Longer wear! A Tampax tampon can be worn for 8hrs, but a menstrual cup lasts for 12 hours. Great for long days out and at work.
  • Quiet! Next time you’re in a public toilet you won’t have to worry about those plastic wrappers making an embarrassing rustling sound. Because a cup can last 12 hours you probably won’t even need to change it anyway.
  • No more bulky packs of pads and tampons filling your bathroom.
  • Less waste in our oceans!

The amount of pads and tampons (and applicators) found on British coastlines and in our rivers, is rapidly rising. This problem is happening all around the world. It’s killing our planet.

Please make a good choice for our future and try using reusables! They aren’t messy, complicated or painful. I am always happy to answer any questions that you may have.

*Facts supplied by D by Dame

** Facts sourced from wen.org.uk