April in the vegetable garden – advice from Miracle-Gro

growing veg

Now is the time to shift into gear if you want to grow your own

Planting seed potatoes -image supplied by Geoff Hodge
Planting seed potatoes -image supplied by Geoff Hodge

It’s all systems go in the April in the vegetable garden as there are lots of crops to sow, including beetroot, carrot, cauliflower, kohl rabi, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pea, radish, salad leaves, spinach, summer cabbage, Swiss chard and turnip.



You can also sow indoors with some gentle heat all those crops that need a warmer start to life, including aubergine, cucumber, French bean, pumpkin and squashes, runner bean, sweet pepper and tomato. If you don’t have the facilities to grow these crops from seed, most are available as young plants from your garden centre.

This is also the time to plant out seed potatoes. There are a number of different ways to grow potatoes. The traditional way is to dig a trench and plant them 10cm (4in) deep. Alternatively, plant them shallowly through black plastic sheeting to prevent having to earth them up and reduce weed problems. You can even grow them in large pots or in a Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own gro-sac for potatoes and root vegetables.

Topical tip

Cold winds and frosts can damage young seedlings or newly emerging potato shoots, so have some fleece handy once the growth comes through the soil to protect them if adverse conditions are forecast.

Fruit

Container-grown fruit can be planted now, but try and get planting finished by the end of the month. Make sure the soil is well prepared before planting. Dig in plenty of organic matter, such as Levington Organic Blend Soil Conditioner or Levington Organic Blend Farmyard Manure, and add Miracle-Gro Bone Meal Natural Root Builder to help improve root growth and establishment. Mix in more organic matter with the soil dug out from the planting hole.

Always plant at the same depth that the plant was originally growing and firm the soil around the roots.

Trees will need to be staked with a good tree stake and secured with two tree ties.

Water in well and water in dry weather, as the plants won’t have much time to establish before the summer.

After planting, mulch the soil around fruit trees and bushes with Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Decorative Pine Bark or Levington Water Saving Decorative Bark to help keep weeds down and maintain soil moisture levels in summer.

Topical tip

Melons can be successfully grown in the UK, but for best results they are best grown in a greenhouse or frame. Now’s the time to sow seeds in small pots of compost. You will need a heated propagator or a warm place for good germination.



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