Jo’s Garden Corner – April
Broad beans are the first vegetable to be sown in spring as soon as the soil can be worked into a reasonable tilth. Push each bean into the soil about 20cm apart leaving at least 90cm between rows to allow room for weeding and harvesting. Seed potatoes can be planted as soon as the soil warms up and this is likely to be sometime in April. Traditionally they were planted on Good Friday after testing the warmth of the soil with your bare bottom. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for potatoes! (At least that’s what my dad always told me.) Seeds sown during April will germinate and grow very fast. Young seedlings need as much light as possible but be careful that they don’t get scorched in the greenhouse if temperatures do rise. Water seedlings daily but don’t overwater. Prick out the seedlings early so they rapidly develop strong healthy roots, and start to harden them off as early as possible by putting them outside on mild days but don’t plant out until all risk of frost has passed. April is the best month for planting perennials. Well chosen perennials will last for years provided you select the correct plants for the aspect. When planting up a new border it can be a good idea to lay out the plants on the soil first to make sure you are happy with their positions and how they all look together. Thoroughly weed the area first and prepare the planting area by forking in garden compost or well rotted manure. Gently loosen the roots of the potted plants so that they will grow out into the soil. Place each plant into its remove air pockets and water in well.