Jobs for the Month

April 2021

This is the month when there is lots to be done at the allotment: preparing seedbeds, sowing, weeding, planting, etc. With warmer weather, as well as possible showers ahead, there should be plenty of growth to look forward to.

Vegetables

  • Draw up soil around the base of peas and broad beans to support them and increase the rooting area.
  • Plant early potatoes when chits are 2cms long.
  • Earth up early potatoes when they have made 8” growth.
  • Second early and maincrop potatoes should be sown by the end of the month.
  • Plant out indoor-sown peas
  • Sow broad beans and peas.
  • Make direct successional sowings of beetroot, Swiss chard, lettuce, radish, summer spinach, spring onions, parsnips and turnips.
  • Sow early varieties of carrot when the ground has warmed up.
  • Sow indoors or in polytunnel Brussels sprouts, cabbage, early leeks, cucumbers, courgettes and peppers and sweet corn for later transplanting.
  • Sow indoors or in polytunnel climbing or dwarf beans for later transplanting.
  • Sow indoors or in polytunnel tender vegetables such as runner beans, squash and pumpkins.
  • Finish planting onions and shallots.
  • Plant up new asparagus and globe artichoke beds.
  • Cut asparagus late in the month (if ready!)
  • Sow herbs – oregano, thyme, dill, fennel and parsley from seed.
  • Cover radishes and turnips with horticultural fleece to protect against flea beetle.

Fruit

  • Harvest rhubarb by pulling a few stalks at a time. Put the leaves on the compost heap.
  • Once leaf buds open, start formative pruning of plum and cherry trees.
  • Use fleece to protect blossom of trees such as pears if frost is forecast.

General

Keep ground covered with fleece to warm up prior to planting seeds or transplanting.

  • Remove weeds before they flower to avoid seeding.
  • Keep grass paths manageable by regular cutting.

Flowers

  • Plant out indoor-sown sweet peas or direct sow outdoors.
  • Sow annuals to attract pollinating insects such as Nigella, marigolds, Cosmos, poppies.

Gardening for wildlife

  • Keep some wild patches (e.g. rotting wood,  nettles, etc.) around your allotment plot for wildlife to feed on and to hide in
  • Plant a wildflower mix to encourage bees and other pollinating insects
  • Try not to use inorganic fertilisers and pesticides