April 2015

27th April

Planted main crop potatoes

Another warm and bright morning at the allotment. We had some showers over the weekend so I got out my old Rotavator that has not been used since 2013 season, I added some petrol and it started straight-away. I managed to rotavate one and a half beds before it run out of petrol, I added more petrol but it would not restart. I think the dirt in the bottom of the petrol tank blocked up the carburettor, so I was only able to sow my Desiree Potatoes in the one completed bed. See image on the left.

24th April

Dug Beds ready for rain to break down the soil so potatoes can be sown

Another warm and bright morning at the allotment. I was hoping to start planting my main crop potatoes but the ground was rock hard due to no rain and plenty of sun. So using a fork I lifted and turned the soil to allow the rain to enter the soil( which is forecast over the weekend). The next job was to give the greenhouse potatoes and my seed bed a good water. I then went home for some lunch. See image on the right

22nd April

grass cut and edges trimmed

Finally back at the allotment this morning after a several days away in the caravan again. I spent most of   the morning cutting the grass paths and trimmed up the edges.

I also managed to pick some asparagus, broccoli and rhubarb which we will eat for our lunch. I hope to be back on the allotment on Friday to plant my main crop potatoes.

The image shows the cut and trimmed grass paths.

15th April

Made a visit to the allotment this morning, the weather was warn and sunny. I managed to complete my seed bed sowing by adding my Purple sprouting Broccoli seeds and Autumn King cabbage seeds to the seed bed. The next task was to add some side panels to the large compost/manure bin, I also added another 8 bags of horse manure. Finally I harvested some Rhubarb and Purple Sprouting Broccoli and returned home for lunch.

7th April

Paths laid and beds weeded

Had a great morning at the allotment the sun was shining and there was very little wind. My first task was to record a video covering what took place on my allotment for the month of March. This was completed and the video is available on You Tube and also in the video section.

I Then got down to some gardening. I managed to complete the covering of my paths with membrane and finished off by giving the beds a good weed between the newly laid paths, see image on right. I then returned home for a well deserved rest.

6th April

Potatoes growing in bags

I finally got back to the allotment today to get down and do some work. I started to record a video for my March You Tube update but my camera did not have enough battery life left to complete the filming, so I will make a new video on my next visit. I did make a couple of visits to the allotment but that was only to check on wind damage and pick a few crops. Today I managed to sow the rest of my early potatoes Vanessa and my second early crop Anya. I used the S.F.G. method and planted the potatoes into bed 4. The potatoes I sowed are just starting to show in one of the bags which were planted on 2nd March. See image on left. Also some of my seedlings are showing in the seed bed namely Pak Choi. Finally I harvested some Broccoli before returning home for lunch.

April

What needs doing this month

Fruit:

  • Watch flowering and setting of apples, pears, plums, and cherries to ascertain probable size of crop.
  • Keep a watch for pests on flowers and fruit lets
  • Check the cross pollination is effective.
  • Protect wall trees and soft fruit bushes against frost while in bloom.
  • Plant late-flowering strawberries.
  • Check tree ties and stakes to prevent rocking.
  • Mulch around trees and water newly planted fruit.
  • Spray apples, black currants, peaches, and nectarines, pears, plums and strawberries.
  • Give a fine spray of water to open peach and nectarine flowers to help setting.
  • Ensure that pollinating insects can reach flowers on cloched strawberries.
  • Remove flowers from immature and autumn -fruiting runners

Vegetables:

  • Sow Asparagus seed
  • Continue to sow Lettuce, Radish, Carrots and Peas.
  • It is probably a bit early to sow French beans but if the weather is mild try sowing a few under cloches for an early crop
  • Sow Beetroot for an early crop.
  • Most Brassicas ( Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale ) can now be sown.
  • Continue to plant chitted potatoes.
  • Sow Salsify and Scorzonera.
  • Earth up any Potatoes that are beginning to come through.
  • Put up supports for Runner beans over the previously prepared trenches.
  • Continue hoeing all beds to prevent weeds.
  • Most hardy vegetable seeds can be sown now.
  • Plant out chitted potatoes if the weather is mild and the ground is not waterlogged.
  • Plant Asparagus crowns in the bed prepared previously.
  • Brussels Sprouts sown earlier in the frame or greenhouse can be transplanted to open ground.
  • Ensure that the soil is firmed well after planting.
  • Sprouting Broccoli should now be ready for picking. Pick regularly to ensure continued growth of new shoots.
  • Complete the planting of early Potatoes and start to plant Main crop.
  • Thin out early vegetables sown under cloches.
  • Plant out seedlings of Broad beans and peas that have previously been hardened off.
  • Sow Parsley for summer use.
  • Thin out Parsnip that were sown last month.
  • Hoe any seed beds to ensure that no weeds appear to suffocate the seedlings and to ensure the soil is aerated.
  • Erect protection (or use fleece) around Carrots against Carrot Fly
  • Plant final main crop. Potatoes.
  • Prepare trenches for Runner Beans by incorporating plenty of manure or compost.
  • Plant onion sets
  • Transplant Onions that were sown in the greenhouse in December to their final positions.

Greenhouse:

  • Sow melons, cucumbers and tomatoes for outside cultivation
  • Sow sweet corn, marrows, courgettes, runner beans and French beans
  • Plant cucumbers and melons in an unheated greenhouse
  • Start vines in an unheated greenhouse and pollinate early starters
  • Thin peaches and nectarines
  • Pollinate strawberries
  • Check heaters and ventilators
  • Apply shading if necessary
  • Check for pests and diseases

Herbs:

  • Sow small amounts of dill, fennel, marjoram, and thyme.
  • Make further sowing of parsley.
  • Thin seeds sown in March
  • Hoe to prevent weeds.
  • Plant out rooted cuttings of bay, lavender, mint, rosemary, and sage.

General:

  • Keep an eye out for slugs on early sowing in cloches.
  • Have you cleaned your shed yet?
  • Is your equipment working ready for the spring?
  • is it time to give your grass paths a cut