There is always something to do in the vegetable garden, even in the smallest patch. April is the month when the growing season really starts and its easy to lose track of the jobs you need to be doing. Keep ahead of yourself by using this quick reminder of some of the vital jobs to be doing in the vegetable garden during April.
Any young vegetable seedlings you started off in the greenhouse during February and March can now be moved out an
d into the cold frame to harden off before planting out. Onion sets grown in modules under cover can also be planted out now. April is the time to plant out main crop potatoes and asparagus crowns. Any early potatoes already in the ground will need earthing up as shoots start to appear above the ground. Other vegetable seeds that can be sown outside during April include kale, broccoli, beetroot, lettuce, and cauliflower.
Towards the middle of the month you can start successional planting of salad crops every 3-4 weeks to ensure you have a constant supply throughout the summer months. If you have planted peas now is the time to push twigs into the ground to give the emerging shoots something to cling to as they grow up. Also, prepare your runner bean bed by digging a trench and filling it with well rotted manure to give a head start to hungry young bean plants. Inside, sow bean seeds along with cucumber and courgette seeds in pots. It’s always a good idea to sow two seeds per pot to allow for those few that will not germinate.
Flowering companions such as marigolds and poached egg plants are a great way to attract pollinating insects into your vegetable garden. Sow seeds along the edges of your vegetable beds now. If you grow fruit there are some essential jobs for you to be doing this month. Feed strawberry plants with tomato feed to ensure a healthy crop. If there is still a risk of frost, cover any blossoming trees and fruit bushes with fleece to protect the blossom.
If like me you are a lover of growing your own herbs, now is the time to trim leggy rosemary bushes to encourage bushy new growth. It is also time to sow seeds of parsley, coriander and basil in decorative garden planters that can be placed near the house for easy access.