Get stuck in and grow your own
April is the month to be getting that vegetable garden organised
April is a busy month for gardeners. There’s sowing and planting to be done and it is time to turn your attention to long lost friends including your vegetable patch.
This is a key month for planting vegetables and fruit in the garden and from now until late autumn you will be sowing, planting and harvesting.
Finish off sowing seeds for early lettuces, summer carrots, dwarf peas, summer spinach and broad beans and start sowing beetroots, brassicas – broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and cabbage – peas, turnips and swede.
You can also plant the first early potatoes, weather dependent.
For beginners, some of the easiest fruits to grow are berries.
Strawberries and blueberries love containers or open ground and both will crop heavily once established.
A simple garden solution for April is to create a vegetable patch.
Mark out the area well, prepare the soil, dig in compost then sow a variety of seeds that will provide you with vegetables all year round.
It’s a common misconception that you need a lot of space to grow vegetables but you can still achieve success with container grown plants.
Tomatoes will thrive in pots and grow bags and can also be grown in the ground. Another plant that loves container life, and being in borders as well, is lavender – and it is the perfect time to plant it so that you can enjoy it throughout the summer. It’s a favourite with gardeners, not just for its beautiful form and fragrance but also because it attracts essential pollinators including bees and butterflies.
It is considered a romantic flower that most gardeners get the urge to plant in their garden sooner or later and can add real value with its scent and shades of purple flowers and silver leaf backdrop.
To successfully grow lavender, it needs to be planted in a warm, well-drained soil with full sun.
It is often planted as an edging plant with roses or grown as an informal hedge.
However, lavender does not like ‘wet feet’ as it promotes root rot and ‘dampness’ is often the reason it doesn’t perform well.
It’s a tough plant though and, once established, only requires regular pruning after flowering has finished in the autumn.
April sees the start of National Gardening Week, from April 26 to May 2, and really kicks off the gardening season.