Gardening really gets going in April. It is a very busy month planting seeds and transplanting various crops that have been brought on elsewhere.
Tips for April
1. Plant potatoes
Once the potatoes are chitted they can be planted in trenches in the ground or in bags. Bags work very well if you are short of space or fancy trying a few potatoes of a different variety. Specially designed potato fertiliser is available to help improve your yield.
2. Plant shallots
If your shallots have been started off in small pots, once the roots have filled the pots plant out into the ground. Also, garlic can be transplanted into the soil.
3. Onion sets
Stored onion sets can be started off on compost in trays, for about a week, then put out into the ground. Leave this until towards the end of the month
4. Plant parsnips
At the beginning of the month plant seeds directly into the ground. Parsnips can be sown directly this early. Tender and True is tried and tested in Helensburgh.
5. Plant food crops
By the end of the month the soil should be warm enough to do some serious planting of food crops such as beetroot, broad beans, carrots, chard, and peas.
6. Sow leeks
Leeks should be sown in a pot or seed tray and brought on before transplanting later in the year. Musselburgh is the best variety.
7. Planting of salad leaves
Start your succession of lettuce and salad leaves. Plant a small batch every couple of weeks to ensure a regular supply of salad leaves.
8. Hardy annual flower seeds
Plant hardy annual flower seeds. Except for one or two varieties like Nasturtian and Nigella, I tend to start seeds off in a pot or tray other wise I seem to lose them amongst the weeds.
Weed and hoe on a regular basis. Weeds will grow quicker than your crops unless you’re careful
10. Rhododendrons and Camellia
Feed Rhododendrons and Camellias with specific feed for acid loving plants and other plants with slow release fertiliser
11. Hardy herbaceous plants
Buy and plant hardy herbaceous plants for the border, think about extending the season with Penstemons, Heleniums, Aster, Rudbeckia and Veronicastrum.
Put in stakes for tall herbaceous perennials early, so that the leaves will grow up and disguise the framework.
12. Planting seeds and pricking out seedlings
Prick out seedlings of plants sown last month. Courgette and cucumber seeds can be sown now.
Once forsythia shrubs have finished flowering, they can be pruned. Cut one or two of the oldest stems right out at ground level to encourage new, replacement growth.
14. Fruit bushes
If you have a fruit cage, now is the time to put the roof netting back on.