Organic Gardening Jobs for April by Andy Hamilton

Andy Hamilton
Andy Hamilton

This is a pretty busy month for the grower, many vegetables can be planted out in April as the soil should now be fit for cultivating and sowing.

Planting

Plant outside – Brussel sprouts, summer cabbage, lettuces, onions (from sets), peas, broad beans, leeks, globe artichoke, main crop potatoes and second early potatoes, beetroot, beet spinach, main crop carrots, salsify, endive, sprouting and perennial broccoli, celeirac, parsley, scorzonera, swiss chard, turnips, Florence fennel, celery (under cover) and asparagus.

Sow seed for seedlings Indoors – tomato plants, courgette, squashes and pumpkins , sweetcorn, cucumber – last chance for pepper and chilli pepper seeds to be sown.

Other jobs

Cut back long grass to try and cut down the habit needed for slugs and snails, look out for other places that they could be hiding and try and keep your plot clean of any debris. You might also want to put down beer traps and put egg shells around your seedlings.

Some of your seedlings will benefit from harding off now (in a cold frame, or under plastic bottles with the bottom cut off.) This basically prepares them for the change in temperature from your bedroom windowsill to the outdoors.

Plants to harden off can include leek, cauliflower, peas and broad beans. If the weather is hot then all your plants will benefit from a watering. – You might want to think about getting a water butt if you have not done so already. It is also worth putting buckets or old ice cream tubs out as when these fill with rain you can readily top up your water butt.

This month is a good time to get on top of the weeds before they really set in. If you don’t have time to dig up all the dandelions then ensure that you at least take the heads off them to stop them going to seed. The heads can also be made into a cough mixture when boiled with sugar or honey until gloopy. (obviously then strained).

If there are areas that you are not going to cultivate for at least a month or so then they might benefit from a green manure. Plant out mustard seeds and dig it in after about 4 weeks before the flowers have grown.

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