Things to do in the Allotment in April

April

is the month that we all look forward to jobbing on in our allotment,but proceed with caution.Days are lengthening and warm sunshine appears, but beware of night frosts . Hold back and wait a day or two rather take a risk.Loosing seedlings or young plants is frustrating, and a waste of your precious time that you will ever get back that does the damage. The allotment will always catch up eventually and reward your patience with bumper harvest.

Sowing and planting

Plant out the seed potatoes; aim to complete the job by the end of April. Be prepared to cover the emerging shoots of the earlies with soil if a frost is forecast.

Plant onion sets and carry on making successional sowings of beetroot, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, spinach, spring onions, kohl rabi, radish, turnips, early peas, Swiss chard.

Plant seeds of runner beans, sweet corn, courgettes, pumpkins, squashes, outdoor/ridge cucumber.Sow under glass, in pots in trays of fresh compost

Maincrop peas can be planted and make the last sowing of summer broad beans. At the end of the month you could try an early sowing of dwarf and climbing French beans . Darker seeded varieties are hardier and more suited to the early sowings. Protect them from frosts.

No doubt you will have seed beds ready, sow seed leeks and summer cabbage. Dont forget to water throught the summer..

If you have cold greenhouse tomatoes,now you can plant in to their final positions keep some frost protection handy.

General

Thin out early sowings of Brussels sprouts

soil needs to be prepared for next month’s transplanting of sweet corn, courgettes, marrows, pumpkins and outdoor/ridge cucumbers

Put up the runner bean poles and start to support the growing peas with brushwood or netting.

Prepare seed beds for outdoor sowing of main crop vegetables next month.

Pest and diseases

Soft fruit could be showing signs of aphids, I find using diluted washing up liquid works I also use this for greenfly on rose bushes

Protect any early strawberries with netting to keep birds and squirrels out.


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