It was so lovely to see the weather warming recently and people getting out in their gardens, even if it was just for a short time! We can really see things starting to happen now – there’s frogspawn in the pond, bees buzzing around spring blossom and vegetable seedlings seem to be really getting into their stride.

It’s lovely to get in the garden, but remember to be aware of the potential for late frosts and protect any new seedlings as appropriate. It can be devastating to have nurtured plants only to very swiftly lose them.

I think for many of us our 2021 garden planning period is gradually coming to an end, so with our long list of jobs for April and keeping one an eye on the weather, this month it’ll be time to dig in!

This month we could be planting:

  • Early peas
  • Lettuces
  • Broad beans
  • Pak Choi
  • Second early and main-crop potatoes
  • Rhubarb sets
  • Horseradish
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflowers
  • Kale
  • Chards
  • Strawberries
  • Shallots
  • Perennial herbs such as thyme, chamomile, rosemary, sage, oregano etc
  • Plus more..

Of course not all of these have to be sown from seed. Our website has a wide range of vegetable, fruit and herb plants that can be planted directly into your gardens this month. These are sustainably grown in Shropshire, planted in recycled materials and delivered directly to your door. Plants include growing guides showing you how to grow and harvest them – and if that’s not enough, we run a free veg gardening group offering additional support too! See our website for details.

Checklist of Jobs for April

With planting underway there are several additional jobs to be getting on with this month:

  • Continue to improve your soil by top dressing with compost
  • Cover newly planted seedlings with cloches to help protect from the elements
  • Start planning perennial herbs to establish a herb bed for later in the season
  • Continue to harden off and transplant autumn sown cauliflowers and cabbages
  • Continue to pot on plants that need transplanting, trying to accommodate them best you can under cover until the risk of frost has passed
  • Weeds will grow strongly now so keep the hoe busy to save more work later on
  • Repot any new chilli plants into larger containers.
  • Remove all overwintering leeks and parsnips to make room for more crops
  • Plant second early potatoes early in the month and maincrop potatoes towards the end of the month (see our leaflet on how to grow potatoes)
  • Plant onions and shallots, covering them with fleece initially to stop birds pulling up the young plants.
  • Collect rain water from outside buildings for use in the next few months
  • Sow fast growing veg such as radishes as a catch crop, this will make good use of the space available while other larger plants get established.

And let’s not forget composting, with advice from Garden Organic:

ü If you have a worm bin, your worms will need more food, as they become active after the winter cold. Continue to protect them from night frosts.

ü Rake out the un-composted top layer of your compost heap and put to one side. Remove the ready compost from the bottom layers, bag it up and store somewhere dry. Return the un-composted stuff ready to activate all the micro-organisms that process the material.

I hope you find this useful. If you’re a keen home gardener or allotmenteer (or would like to be!) why not consider joining our growing community online. It’s free and all are welcome

Happy growing and Happy Easter!

Theresa, Homegrown Market Garden

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot