April In The Veg Patch


•Sow - Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli (early sprouting) end month, Calabrese (early) (protect), French Beans (end of month), Runner Beans (protect), Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots (early), Carrots (maincrop) mid month, Summer Lettuce, Maincrop Onion seed, Spring Onions, Peas (early and maincrop), Summer Radish, Sweet corn (protect), Tomatoes (indoor and cloche).



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•Plant - Onion sets, New potatoes, Maincrop potatoes,

•Harvest - Broccoli (late sprouting), Spring maturing lettuce, Summer Radish (cloche protected), Forced Rhubarb,

•Other Jobs - Start sowing inside and out.

If you don't have a greenhouse use windowsills in the house, or create your own cold frame outside. Sheets of glass or clear plastic on some bricks is a start, as it keeps the rain off the seed trays/pots, and warms up the soil. Another way is to put trays and pots in a clear polythene bag, and put it in a sunny spot or under a cloche.

Plants may come on more quickly if you sow them in trays/pots this month rather than sowing then directly into the ground. You can then transplant them into open soil. The exceptions, are the root vegetables which like to be sown direct, but you may get away with planting them in biodegradable pots (or loo roll cardboard inners) under cover. When the shoots appear, transfer the whole pot into the soil.

Towards the end of April, you can sow everything directly outdoors.

Seedlings that have been grown in trays or pots, or under a cloche, need to be `hardened off` by being given limited time out in the real world, With a cold frame - just open the lid. With a cloche - you can lift it off during the day, and return it at night. Seedlings grown inside should spend the day outside and then be returned inside, or be covered at night.

It is better to sow a little and often so that you can harvest over a longer period. Keep sowing crops like rocket, lettuce, radish, salad onion all summer long, you'll want a small amount over a long period.

You’ll be able to pick off loads of slugs before they do their damage if you take a look at your plot at night if it’s warm, and has been raining.