Spring should be here but watch out for frosts!
Sow seed outdoors
Vegetable growing really takes off this month. Chit and plant out second early potatoes in the first half of the month, maincrop potatoes in the second half. It's also time to sow seed outdoors in well-prepared soil.
Fruit jobs in April
Fruit & Nut Trees
- Liquid feed fruit trees in pots with a balanced feed every fortnight.
- Where possible, protect plum and pear flowers from frost but allow insects access for pollination.
- Damp down or mist citrus plants regularly when flowering begins. Maintain a min temperature of 14°C (57°F).
- Deblossom strawberries planted after September in their first year to help establishment.
- Pick forced strawberries under heated glass.
- Ideal time to plant pot-grown fruit trees and bushes.
- Ventilate strawberries under cloches and mulch with straw or mats..
- Avoid using insecticides on crops in flower.
Vegetable jobs in April
Sowing and Planting
- Chit and plant out second early potatoes in the first half of the month, maincrop potatoes in the second half.
- Sow seed outdoors for beetroot, carrots, Swiss chard, summer cauliflower, kohl rabi, lettuce, leeks, radish, turnip, spring and pickling onions, peas and perpetual spinach in well-prepared soil.
- Try sowing unusual vegetables such as salsify, Hamburg parsley, or scorzonera.
- Sow seed indoors of marrows, courgettes, pumpkins and squash. Also sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, celery, celeriac, salads and globe artichokes.
- In very mild areas sow dwarf French beans and sweet corn outside under cloches or fleece at the end of April. In cooler areas wait until May.
- Sow a seedbed of brassicas to provide transplants of sprouting broccoli, cauliflowers and cabbages for planting out in June or July.
- Transplant broad beans grown in pots.
- Plant shallots, onion sets and garlic.
- Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
- Plant asparagus crowns.
- Pot up tomato seedlings when they develop true leaves above the more rounded seed leaves.
- Support pea plants with sticks, twigs, green support mesh, or wire netting.
- Thin out rows of seedlings as soon as they are large enough to be handled.
- Protect early outdoor sowings with fleece and polythene.
- Continue to force witloof chicory and seakale. Dig up selected chicory roots, pot them up, and position them in a dark warm place (10-13°C; 50-55°F), with an upturned pot over them.
Jobs in April
Shed Repairs & Maintenance
- April showers? Make sure the roofing felt is intact and water tight.
- Prepare runner bean supports for sowing (in May) or planting out (in June).
Seeds to Sow and things to Plant Out in April
Sowing indoors and under glass
- Start sowing Courgettes, squashes, marrows, Pumpkins etc
- Cucumbers and gherkins towards the end of month
- Runner and French Beans
- Sweet Peppers
- Radishes (summer)
- Tomato seeds
- Globe Artichokes
- Tubers of Jerusalem Artichokes
- Beetroot seeds
- Broad Beans
- Brussels sprouts, calabrese and broccoli directly into seed beds outside
- Direct sowing of summer and autumn cabbages such as 'Greyhound' into well prepared beds outdoors. Towards the end of the month, cauliflower seeds can be sown outdoors too
- Carrots in rows outdoors, keep soil moist for good germination
- Spring Onions
- Plant out asparagus crowns in well prepared permanent beds.
- Plant out chitted seed potatoes approximately 10-15cm below the soil surface or in potato planters on the patio.
- Plant out onion sets, shallot sets and garlic cloves for crops this summer. Now is your last chance to order onion, shallots and garlic for spring planting.
- Plant out pot-grown fruit trees and bushes.
- Continue to plant raspberry canes and blackberry canes before hotter weather arrives.