The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in April

4Spring is here, the soil is starting to warm up and by now your seedlings should start peeking through the soil. Cold snaps in April are not unheard of, so stay vigilant and protect any seedlings should they need it.

Weed Control

With the arrival of warmer temperatures, weeds will seize their chance to overrun your garden. Keep your hoe handy and keep them at bay. Slide it back and forth beneath the soil to kill and stop the weeds taking hold. Don’t forget to sharpen it for maximum efficiency.

Ventilation Matters

If you’ve employed cloches to shelter your plants, remember to provide them with ventilation. Open the lid on sunny days to let in fresh air, but be sure to close them at night. Warmth and shelter can be inviting to both plants and pests alike.

Hardening Off

For seedlings sown indoors, transitioning them to the outdoors requires a gradual approach. Over a span of about two weeks, expose them gradually to the elements. Start with a few hours in a warm, sheltered spot, increasing their outdoor time each day until they can brave the elements without protection.

Sowing in April

If March’s weather was uncooperative, April offers a chance to catch up on your planting. Here are some options:

  • Plant potatoes around Easter, or sooner if the soil is warm.
  • Continue sowing lettuce, salad leaves, radish, spring onion, beetroot, turnips, and chards for a steady supply throughout the summer.
  • Consider a second sowing of broad beans, either directly in the ground or in pots for later transplanting.
  • There’s still time for tomatoes, peppers, and chillies.
  • Get onion sets and shallots in the ground promptly, especially shallots, which require a longer growing season.

Harvest Time

Early salad crops like lettuce, spring onions, and radishes, if grown under cover, are ready for the picking.

Late sprouting broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower should still be yielding harvests.

If you planted early potatoes under cover in January, it’s time to reap your rewards.


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