Five Things You Should Do In April

The days are longer yet the air is still crisp. Blossom and flowers are immerging from their dormancy. Sunny, warm summer like days are quickly followed with sleet and rain, the weather remains unpredictable throughout the month and there is still a risk of frost.

Sow, sow, sow!

Much like March, April is a busy month for seed sowing. There is even more to get sown this month in order to get bumper crops in the summer. Try sowing successional crops, so that you don’t have a glut of the same vegetables. There is still plenty of time to get potatoes in, traditionally potatoes are planted from Easter and beyond. Whilst there is still plenty to get started with in the greenhouse or polytunnel, you can now get cracking with direct sowing. Beetroot, carrots, parsnips, radish and spring onions are just a few things you can get in the ground.

Get tidying

There’s nothing like a spring clean on the plot to get you ready for the new season. Now is a good time to do the jobs you’ve been putting off for a while; touching up the shed, tidying a neglected part of the plot or even a spot of DIY.

Keep an eye out for pests

With the arrival of spring, pests come out of the woodwork. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails, they will decimate any small leafy greens. We use woollen slug pellets. These are chemical free, so they are safe for any hedgehogs or other critters that may be on your plot. They also serve a secondary purpose, they act as a mulch for your young plants. Pigeons and butterflies will also be on the lookout for their lunch, so make sure to keep any brassicas covered.

Clean your greenhouse or polytunnel

You may have already done this by now, but if you haven’t now is the perfect time before you are inundated with seedlings. The days are getting longer and you want to make the most of the sunshine. By cleaning the panes and vents, it will allow much more light into your greenhouse or polytunnel.

Sort your compost

The little critters will have immerged from their hibernation in your compost bin by now, so it is a good time for you to empty your compost and sieve through the black gold you have created. Anything that has not completely composted can be thrown back into the pile and left until next year.

Here’s to spring and longer, warmer days.

Five Things You Should Do In March

As the air begins to thaw and the flowers burst into life, spring has begun to awaken from its long slumber. There is an absolute plethora of seeds to sow and bulbs to plant in March, but try not to get too ahead of yourself. The ground is still yet to warm thoroughly and there is still a risk of frost.

Get planting

This may be stating the obvious, but now is the time to get cracking. Your seed selection for March will be large, so pick the ones you want to get a head start on. Now is also a great time to transplant your strawberry runners. There is also still time to plant rhubarb crowns, although it is best to not harvest the crop in the first year as it may lessen the crop for the following years. Don’t forget to get your first early crop of potatoes in.

Weed & tilth your plot

Since turning over your plot last month, it is now time to tilth your plot and remove any weeds that you may come across. This will give any seeds you sow a great start to the season.

Protect early seedlings

If you are sowing directly in March, it is well worth protecting these seedlings with fleece or a cloche. This will speed up the warming of the soil and you’ll gain a few extra weeks of the growing season.

Prune & tie back

If you didn’t get around to cutting back your autumn fruiting raspberries in winter, there is still just enough time to get them pruned even if there are signs of new growth. You can also prune any other fruit bush, like gooseberry, all varieties of currants, blackberries and blueberries.

Plant your summer flowering bulbs

Although we have just reached spring, it’s already time to plant your summer flowering bulbs. Your bulbs will all have different needs, some may prefer full sun and others partial shade and well drained soil. Gladioli put on a wonderful show throughout the summer. If you want a continual show, plant bulbs throughout the next few months. Our last bulbs that were planted in mid summer flowered right up until October.

Happy sowing.