Yes, that’s right, we’re halfway through April already and now is one of the busiest times in the garden! I’ve been a tad busy in Wales and working on the online shop and garden shows but there are plenty of jobs to be getting on with at the allotment and in the garden when I get a bit of time on my hands. Not to mention the list of seeds that need sowing which are mounting up in my allotment journal! For me though this is the most exciting time, the time when the gardens are showing signs of life and the time that we can finally really get our hands dirty with sowing seeds and planting out seedlings.
Here are a few things you can be getting on with in April:
Seeds to sow inside:
- French Beans
- Runner Beans
- Peas (in guttering)
- Herbs such as Basil, Chives, Parsley, Fennel and Coriander
Seeds to sow under cloches:
- Broad Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
- Kohl rabi
- Swiss Chard
- Mixed Salad
- Salad Onions
Things to plant outdoors (as long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged):
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Onion Sets and Shallot Sets
- Potatoes (we like to plant ours out on Good Friday)
- Direct Sow Sweet Peas and Sunflowers
- Plant out Sweet Peas which have been hardened off in a coldframe.
- Sow hardy annual flowers
- Plant out Gladioli and perennial flowers/shrubs
- Secure clematis to supports
- Leave daffodil foliage intact for at least six weeks after flowering to regenerate the bulbs which will produce more flowers next year.
- Take cuttings from Dahlias and Chrysanthemums.
- Sow flowering companion plants amongst the vegetables to attract the bees.
- Place strawberry plants in the greenhouse in hanging baskets or place cloches over outdoor plants to get an early harvest. Feed strawberry plants with potash.
- Start moving seedlings from the greenhouse to the cold frame to help acclimatise them to the weather.
- Mow lawns and trim edges of pathways and borders. Now is the perfect time to sow grass seed too.
- Mulch compost or leaf mould around the base of plants to suppress weeds.
- Repair netting.
- Clean tools and sharpen secateurs.
- Build a compost bin.
- Put up bird houses, bee hotels and create a pond. Clean bird baths.
- Hoe bare soil on dry days to remove weeds.
- Earth up potato shoots to protect from frosts.
- Feed fruit trees and bushes with fertilisers.
- Thin out seedlings of carrots etc
- Open vents in the greenhouse to encourage good air flow.
- Prick out and pot on seedlings once they have developed there first true leaves.
- Check tree ties are not too tight.
- Place supports over tall growing perrenials.
- Install water butts and guttering onto the shed.
- Erect bean poles and support peas with a frame or pea sticks.
- Plant out tomatoes in the green house.