April activities

April to-do list

At the start of April I made another little to-do list. Though to be honest, this could be twice as long and probably still wouldn’t cover all of the things that need doing at this time of year.

potato plantingtulips harvest  tulips in vase

However, just over 1 week in, and we have topped and tailed the list with all of the potatoes now planted, and 2 separate harvests of tulips, each one enough to cram my two largest vases. I have also sown my brassica seeds (Brussels Sprouts, Romanesque broccoli and purple sprouting). I did this much earlier last year, but then they were ready earlier than I wanted them. I never seem to be able to time it just right.

mange-tout

The mange-tout peas and sweetpeas are growing strong and will need planting out soon. I’ve already found a few teeny baby slugs hiding out among the cardboard tubes, hoping I won’t notice them. Luckily they haven’t caused too much damage yet, but the plot holds all manner of new dangers: pigeons; pea and bean weevil; giant slugs, so I need to get them good and strong first. I also have lots of baby lettuces which need to bulk up a bit before they get exposed to the same conditions. The only protection I can give them then is a plastic bottle cloche.

I’ve also transplanted a whopping 90 leek seedlings into deeper pots. You can never have too many leeks right?

waterbutt

A water butt that was slowly subsiding into the mud has been fixed with a more solid base. Not the most exiting or interesting of news, but these are jobs that often need doing on the plot, and are strangely satisfying once done. I’m now hoping for some spring showers to fill this butt back up again. Over night preferably!

tools

The beds are gradually getting de-weeded and forked over in preparation for the mass planting that will happen throughout May. I know a lot of people now follow the no-dig approach, which makes a lot of sense to me, the trouble is we still have a problem with couch grass and occasional patches of bindweed, and there’s really no alternative but to dig down and get the roots out.

So we’ve had a couple of busy back-breaking weekends. We’ll be away for the next two in a row, so I don’t know how much further we’ll get with that list, but at least the evenings are getting lighter and the weather a tad warmer (when the sun shines).

Hope you’re all getting busy too.

9 comments

    • That doesn’t sound strange to me at all, it’s not only good exercise for the body, but for the mind too, it’s therapeutic. Beats a gym any day – the fresh air, a sense of accomplishment, and you get vegetables at the end of it all!

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  1. A really lovely illustration! Interesting to hear what you’ve got planned for April. I planted my sweet peas on my own allotment in London a couple of weeks ago, which I think might have been a bit early… It’s actually my first time growing them – do you have any tips? Olivia

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    • Hi, I don’t think you’re too early planting sweetpeas, I’m probably a bit late. They’re quite hardy, so should be fine, just be careful of slugs if they’re quite small. My tip with growing them is to give them plenty of nutrients and keep them well watered. Tie them into some supports as they grow, and when they start flowering keep picking the flowers as often as you can. The moment you stop they’ll go to seed. It can be hard work keeping up with the rate they flower, but just enjoy them! Then save the seed pods for next year. Good luck.

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