Gardening

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.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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